Advent #7: Circles of Hell.

rosemary
Title: Circles of Hell.
Rating: PG.
Fandom: October Daye.
Synopsis: What happens when Sylvester drags Toby to the mall?

What happens when Sylvester drags Toby to the mall?Collapse )

Today's fandom and characters were suggested by ravenclawed. To suggest a fandom, pairing/characters, or theme for the next advent, please comment here. Only comments left on THIS ENTRY will be considered.

Tags:

In which Seanan is bemused by time.

sycamore
So the fifth October Daye book just came out. One Salt Sea, available now from a bookstore near you. The first mention of this series that I can find in this journal is from July, 2001. That's ten years. And even that post says "this has been going on for a while, this isn't new, this is only new here."

I remember having someone who was one of my closest friends look at me and say, in all sincerity, "I didn't know you were writing a book."

I remember having several people, after I wrote the original short story about a changeling detective having a bad day, hassle me with playground chants of, "Toby wants a novel."

I remember thinking I'd never finish a single one of these books, much less sell them. I'd never be good enough, I'd never be together enough, I'd never have the discipline or skill required to finish a whole novel. And today is the release of my seventh, and my fifth in the series I love more than anything.

It's all very strange.

I know that mostly when I'm over here, in a relatively safe-and-private space (inasmuch as anything is safe or private on the internet), I talk about how tired I am. I'm not exaggerating; I'm exhausted. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. Seriously: not for anything. This is what I've wanted my whole life, and now that I have it, I'm keeping it for as long as I can. And it would take a really big bonfire to erase every copy of my books from the world, and that's amazing, too.

Some of you have been here this whole time. Thank you so much for that. Tired as I am, it still means the world to me.

Fannish Advent #3: Heigh-Ho, the Holly.

aan, current
Title: Heigh-Ho, the Holly.
Rating: PG.
Fandom: October Daye.
Synopsis: What do pixies do at Christmastime?

What do pixies do at Christmastime?Collapse )

Tags:

rosemary
First, the strip:

With Friends Like These... #94: Toby vs. Simon.

Second, the footnotes:

Before you beat me, yes, Anton has seen this strip, and yes, he thinks it's hysterical. So there's no need to defend his honor, I promise.

This was my response to finding out that Anton and I would be sharing a totally bitchin' book display at Barnes & Noble stores. I am, perhaps, somewhat easily amused.

Party tonight!

swamp
Did you want to hang out with cool people, hear cool music, get things signed, and maybe win cool prizes? Well, tonight's your chance, since the Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show will be rolling into San Francisco's Borderlands Books at five, and staying until they kick us out.

The schedule for the event:

5:00 PM: Welcome to our party.
5:40 PM: Perhaps you would like some music.
6:00 PM: Perhaps you would like to win things.
7:00 PM: More music?
7:30 PM: More prizes?
7:45 PM: Assuming people are not too busy buying books and drinking coffee, Seanan will read something.
8:30 PM: Last music of the night.
8:50 PM: Last chance to give the bookstore and cafe money before we say goodnight.
9:00 PM: Last raffle drawing of the night and we close the evening.

Remember that Borderlands will take requests for signed books, so if you can't make it, you can contact the store to request a copy signed for you. I do hope we'll see you there. It would be truly awesome.

Book release party!
rosemary
First, the strip:

With Friends Like These... #91: Cooking with October Daye.

Second, the footnotes:

I knew it had been quite some time since I finished a strip, but I didn't realize just how long "quite a while" was until I checked my archive file and realized that the last strip I posted was drawn at DucKon. So yeah, Amy was right when she said I was maybe running myself a little ragged.

Anyway, here you go—nutrition tips from October "Toby" Daye, who should probably have developed scurvy by now.

Fannish Advent #5: Gift Exchange.

rosemary
Title: Gift Exchange
Rating: G
Fandom: October Daye
Synopsis: What is Christmas like in Faerie?

What is Christmas like in Faerie?Collapse )

Tags:

Looking for German translation help.

swamp
The release of Winterfluch is coming up (January 2010). This is the German-language edition of Rosemary and Rue. In other news, yay!

I'd like to make a blog post to welcome folks around the release date, and while I realize most German readers also read English, it seems like it would be polite to make the post in German. Is there somebody who's willing to help me with translating a moderately-long blog post from English into German? I'm asking now so there's time to get it right before I'd need to post.

Thanks, guys.

Tags:

Nineteen days until fall falls down.

comfort
I am now nineteen days away from the release of Rosemary and Rue. Nineteen. That's a scary, powerful number. That's a number to seek the Tower by.

That's a number that changes everything.

I'm flailing a lot right now, because it's nineteen days until the fall falls down around me, and summer's over, and it's time to get to work. It's long past too late to say "sorry, I changed my mind, this isn't what I wanted"...and this is what I want, but it's only nineteen days away, and it's scary as hell to realize that. (I've been told this countdown gets easier. I've also been told that it doesn't. I sadly fear that it's the second camp that's correct.)

Nineteen days. Nineteen. That's the span of the world that's left to count itself down before my book is on shelves, and everything changes again, because nothing will ever take that reality away from me. Nineteen days, say thankee.

It sure did take a long time for everything to start changing so damn fast.

One blonde, going slowly mad.

color, cry
So wow. Sleep? Sleep is something that no longer happens around here. Just in case you were wondering what I'd been doing with myself, it hasn't been sleeping.

Various people have commented on my recent scarceness, with varying degrees of alarm. I'm really sorry to worry folks. I'm posting more regularly on seanan_mcguire, not because I'm trying to be all "professional" and isolationist, but because right now, my days are basically...

5AM: Get up.
7AM: Get to work.
4PM: Leave work.
6PM: Start writing.
9PM: Say I'm going to bed.
10 to 11PM: Go to bed.

...repeat without end. Things are a little over-booked in Casa Me these days. Rosemary and Rue [Amazon]|[Mysterious Galaxies] comes out in thirty-three days, and my promotion and publicity for the book is in full swing; A Local Habitation [Amazon]|[Mysterious Galaxies] comes out in seven months (and don't I wish that felt like it was further away?). I'm currently in the process of rewriting Feed fast enough to qualify me for some sort of a land-speed record, waiting for the page proofs for A Local Habitation, and writing Blackout, The Brightest Fell, and Discount Armageddon. Oh, and WorldCon is in a week. And then comes my book release. And then comes OVFF and World Fantasy.

Sometimes I look at my schedule and it makes me want to cry like a little girl.

I miss this blog. I miss you all. I miss having time to keep up with Livejournal and not feeling like my pants were in danger of repossession by the government due to having been in bankruptcy for too long. But right now, I'm so over-booked that I'm over-libraried.

I'll be back when I can.

Because you asked for it...

light
...and because I bow easily to peer pressure, I give you:

Obey the Boobies T-shirts.

Thank the ever-lovin' taraoshea for the graphics, because she is made of awesome, wonderful, and win. Also, one of us is real weird, here, folks.
friends
First, the strip:

With Friends Like These... #90: Books-A-Million.

Second, the footnotes:

Most of this strip was drawn at DucKon, thus proving, again, that I do not believe in the weird myth of "downtime" to which so many humans seem to ascribe. Panel inhabitants are, naturally, me (advertising myself), Vixy (buyin' books), Kate (writin' reviews), and Amy (bein' a billboard).

I am far too easily amused.

Quick bullets.

shit
1. landley, yes, I got the sponsorship check, thank you SO MUCH, and I'll deposit it just as soon as Alice gives it back.

2. The next Velveteen story, "vs. Patrol," is about halfway done. The story after that, "vs. Blacklight vs. Sin-dee" is outlined, and the story after that, "vs. the Blind Date," is just going to be painful to watch. Poor Vel.

3. Safe in their air conditioned paradise, my cats have no comprehension of the pain and suffering currently being experienced by the rest of my home town. If we have many more blackouts, they're going to learn. I'll let you know if Alice attempts to shave herself.

4. Castle and Fringe have been renewed! Cupid almost certainly won't be. Alas, Trevor, our time together still wasn't meant to be. Maybe someday...

5. The San Francisco Zoo is full of animals. And love. And interesting smells. And ice cream.

6. Somebody has posted one of my ARCs on eBay. I'm really not sure how to feel about this, except glad that I know I haven't sent any ARCs to the shipper's state, which means this isn't my fault. The urge to hiss, spit, and maybe bite is pretty high, but I'll be good.

7. I got a Baby Moondancer, complete with all her original accessories, for three dollars at a yard sale on Saturday. Weekend made entirely of win.

8. X-Men 2099 is now available in trade paperback. Why?

9. Zombies are still love.

10. The Counting Crows have announced their summer tour dates. I'm going to be heading home several hours early from the San Diego Comic Convention to see them at the Greek Theater. I remain an enormous geek.

What's new with you?

Brief PSA and link and such:

the hell
1. Yeah, still scarce. I have found my limit, and my limit is sadly concrete. I'm posting semi-regularly at seanan_mcguire, largely because we've hit Book Promo Time (whee); the posting frequency there will go up as we approach actual publication. I'll try to keep things updated over here, too, but it's sort of like running uphill during an avalanche at this point; I fall down a lot and beg for the sweet surcease of death. Or ice cream.

2. Speaking of ice cream, I hate my new Weight Watchers meeting with a passion. A burning, burning, oh God you people are insane passion. I am so mad that they closed the Citrus Grove Center, where the people were sane. How mad? Mad enough to be giving genuine consideration to switching to the Saturday at 9:00 AM meeting, just because I might kill fewer people.

3. I'm currently running a poetry contest to win an ARC of Rosemary and Rue. Go ye forth and enter. It doesn't even have to be good poetry. Channel your inner Dr. Seuss, and rock the house.

4. I had my first physical therapy session yesterday, with a very friendly, very sadistic lady from Switzerland who seems intent on making Kate and I use each other as exercise equipment as much as humanly possible. When Kate starts talking about bench-pressing me, you'll all know exactly what she means. I, meanwhile, will be muttering about shallow ditches and lye.

5. My "When I Think Of Heaven..." iTunes play list consists entirely of different versions of "Rain King," all performed by the Counting Crows, across a span of approximately ten years. (I do not yet have them all. This song is my Pokemon.) I've been listening to it a lot lately. I find it...soothing. And soothed blondes just don't kill humanity.

What's new with you?
stepford
Item: Saw the Clayton sleep/phobia dentist yesterday. I go back next Thursday for [purpose redacted on account of dental phobia girl cannot cope before noon]. I'll probably be seeing her office quite a bit over the months to come, as my fear of the dentist means I've never had a filling, and I need several. Everyone was very nice to me, and very understanding.

Item: My dentist is Dr. Mason. Perhaps I shall receive zombie teeth.

Item: I fly to Michigan on Tuesday, and will be back late Wednesday (before spending Thursday at the dentist). I am anticipating next week being just the best week ever. That was sarcasm.

Item: According to Kate and the guys from my comic book store, I'm King of the Lab. I don't mind being King of the Lab. I so very rarely win that particular accolade, and trust me, I managed to earn it this time. Nothing says "nerd" like tagging an alternate-universe version of an X-Man from two panels and a crossover that ended two years ago.

Item: Safeway has brought back APPLE WATER. Clearly, Safeway loves me and is a wonderful magic land filled with joy and the songs of angels.

Item: My ARCs (Advance Reviewer/Reader Copies) of Rosemary and Rue have arrived. There are physical copies of my physical book inside my physical house. I'm going to be giving a few away via contests and such in my professional blog, so if you wanted a shot at a sneak peak, you should meander over there.

Item: Zombies are love.

Sudden accidental radio silence is go!

shit
...um, oops.

Okay, so, like, I didn't mean to not post anything for several days, but I'm not dead, and I'm not kayaking a raging river in South America, and I'm not founding a religion around eating ice cream sandwiches and goat curry. I'm just really really really really did I mention really busy right now, and that has a tendency to kick in my magical mystical mono-focus, resulting in long periods of nothin' but net.

So here's the summation:

1. I finally have my copy of Ravens in the Library. My mother also has hers. My story made my mother cry. This is sort of awesome. Also, if you have a copy, I will absolutely sign it for you, probably while giggling hysterically.

2. One of the special secret surprise guests for the Kitten Sundae concert turned out to be, well, me. SURPRISE! No, really, surprise. Luckily, I'd packed a super-cute dress just in case this surprise was lurking.

3. Alice and Lilly are getting along famously. Alice is made of adorable, and exactly as laid-back as her grenade-toting namesake. It's awesome. Lilly isn't what we'd call exactly thrilled about the new addition, but neither is she actively hostile. She's just mildly annoyed. I've watched some TV with her, and that helped.

4. My Siamese has a thing for Supernatural. So bizarre.

5. Late Eclipses is continuing to kick my ass, but only in the very best ways. I think this is actually becoming a good book. Who knew?

6. Yes, I'm still taking sponsorships, and while they don't translate into Velveteen stories at a 1:1 ratio, they do go a long way towards keeping the superhero wackiness coming. It's a weird sort of work ethic thing.

What's new with all of you?

Toby promo comic #1.

rosemary


Click the thumbnail to see the details!
rosemary
I am currently in the process of totally restructuring large portions of Late Eclipses, making the book a) substantially better, and b) substantially less familiar to it. I really feel like I'm salting the earth behind some of my revisions. It's a little mind-breaking.

The further I get in this series, the harder it gets to go through these little slash-and-burn adventures. Not because I'm more wedded to my darlings -- I am, if anything, less wedded to my darlings -- but because there's more and more weight to deal with on the shoulders of everything that's already happened.

Bah. Back to the salt mines.

Please click this link.

rosemary
So I'm still waking up, still shell-shocked from yesterday, when I get a message from a friend of mine going 'hey, guess what I found?' So I go and look at what he found.

And then, because I'm crying really easily today, I start to cry. Why?

Because of this. Click here to see the Rosemary and Rue page on Amazon.com. With the September 1st, 2009 release date and everything. Really posted, for really real and very true.

Holy cats.

Lilly is basically bonded to my hip right now; she didn't get out of the bed all night long, and is now sitting next to my chair, looking worried. I'm in good hands today.

Thoughts for a rainy Sunday.

rain
I just submitted my Oasis Sampler information (admittedly, only because submitting makes them stop sending me reminders); several filk dealers have already received their starting stock; and all pre-orders for Red Roses and Dead Things have either been delivered or contacted to arrange for delivery. I'm going to do a mailing of other pending orders for whatever this coming week, and I'm setting up Pretty Little Dead Girl on CDBaby as a part of my ongoing efforts to reduce the number of trips I make to the post office. I guess I can officially say that this CD has been put to bed. How weird.

It's always odd to realize that a project is really and for truly finished. In the case of the CDs, I have lots and lots and lots of boxes to make me feel better -- although the number of boxes of Stars Fall Home is becoming distressingly low; that's an album that isn't that much longer for the world, I think. I guess it can be a collector's item or something. And, of course, there's going to be the books to distract me.

The books. This time next year, I'll be able to pick up a copy of Rosemary and Rue from a bookshelf. My bookshelf, the bookstore bookshelf, the shelves of several of my friends. I'm a little bit shell-shocked, and getting more so every day, as more and more little revelations keep smacking into me. 'I'll be on this shelf' is one of them; 'I need to start thinking about printing bookmarks' is another. And it goes, and it goes, and it goes.

Part of today's 'whoa' is the fact that Ravens in the Library is now officially out. No, you can't go into a bookstore and pick a copy up, since this collection is Not Available In Any Store, No, Really, but it exists. It exists, people can buy it, and when they do, they'll be faced with a table of contents that begins with Neil Gaiman and ends with Seanan McGuire. It's all very real, and it's getting more real all the time. So that's why I'm scarce and scattered right now.

Thank you for being real with me.

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

rosemary
I am pleased, honored, delighted, humbled, and generally over-the-rainbow happy to announce that Rosemary and Rue, the first of the October Daye books, has been officially confirmed and announced as hitting shelves in September of 2009. Yes. After years and years of listening to me go on about these books, you'll finally be able to hold them in your hand. Your actual hand. My actual book.

Wow.

Although there's bound to be some spill-over, most of the book news is going to be posted on seanan_mcguire. That's also where I'll be posting contests, giveaways, and nifty little extras to hopefully make the entire process more compelling for everybody. So hanging out just here is fine for the bold strokes, but for the fine detail, you need to also keep an eye on over there.

Thank you. All of you. Just for being here.

I'm so happy.

Points before bed.

real
Point #1: Blonde am tired.

Point #2: Cat am annoying.

Point #3: If I continue at my current pace through to the end of the year, I will finish my first pass through The Brightest Fell while in Seattle. This means that I will have finished -- not necessarily started, but completed -- the following during the 2008 calendar year:

Rosemary and Rue (Toby #1)
A Local Habitation (Toby #2)
An Artificial Night (Toby #3)
Late Eclipses of the Sun (Toby #4)
The Brightest Fell (Toby #5)
Lycanthropy and Other Personal Issues (Clady #1)
Newsflesh (Masons #1)

I have also started the following:

The Mourning Edition (Masons #2)
Discount Armageddon (InCryptid #1)

I may manage to kick off Sit, Stay, I Hate You before the end of the year, too. Which leads us to...

Point #4: I are real writer girl now.

Point #5: O Africa.

Not dead, just deeply distracted.

swamp
...tragically, not deeply distracted by winning the lottery, finally finding the perfect kittens, making the New York Times bestseller list, or otherwise finding myself in one of the myriad perfect worlds on offer. No, my deep distraction comes almost entirely from a) the lingering malaise from the Death Flu, b) trying to reclaim enough of my bedroom to actually function, and c) doing battle with The Brightest Fell. This book is seriously kicking my ass.

It's interesting to note that the ass-kicking is partially proof that I've grown immensely as a writer: scenes that once seemed perfectly sensible to me now play out as hackneyed and weird. I've literally had to rewrite scenes just so I can see what's wrong with them and rewrite them again. It's like riding a merry-go-round where the reward for getting the brass ride is the opportunity to ride the merry-go-round again, backwards, in the dark, while being harassed by scary clowns. Scary, scary clowns.

Number of co-workers who have found me on Facebook, despite my praying that this would not happen: 2. Number of people from high school whom I never expected to hear from again: 5. Number of dudes who wrote Zombie CSI, possibly the most useful police procedural written in the last decade: 1. It's all very like watching a rock roll downhill, picking up debris all the way. That, or a katamari. La la LA la la la...

Yeah, can you tell I'm getting a little punchy from the tired? I'll probably turn in soon, but wanted to reassure people that I wasn't dead, and that nothing was seriously wrong; I'm just wiped out. I should be finishing the next Velveteen story soon ('Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots, West Coast Division, Part II'), which will make me deeply happy.

Night, world.
simple
First, the strip:

With Friends Like These... #69: Vapor Lock (New York VII).

Second, the footnotes:

This is tragically the end of our New York adventure. While lots more happened before I actually returned to California, this is the strip that I was inking when my scanner broke, taking all my motivation to finish comic strips with it. I could try to reconstruct the rest of the trip from my scattered memories, but...it wouldn't be the same. So here we end. With, mind you, a strip that contains Amy's second comic appearance. Yay, Amy!

Talking Toby with random people vs. talking Toby with my editor really did feel that way. I am a tragic bunny. Full of tragedy.

Woe.
swamp
* MEDICAL: I still have back problems. This really shouldn’t be news to anyone who’s been here for more than fifteen minutes. On the plus side, we’ve got me on some new medications that seem to be working very, very well. Well enough, in fact, that my focus has been shot for the past several days because I didn’t know how to cope with the fact that I wasn’t actively in pain. I keep getting distracted by the fact that I don’t hurt, and seizing up as I wait for the suffering to begin. This is what we call ‘funny if you aren’t me.’

* FITNESS: So I bounced off my diet pretty hard during the whirlwind drama of ‘medical issues,’ ‘finishing half a dozen books,’ and ‘dealing with chronic pain.’ Not catastrophically hard, but when added to medically-mandated lack of exercise, enough to make a difference. Dr. C yelled at me when I saw her on Monday, and I went back to my Weight Watchers meetings last week. (Weight is not an aesthetic or social issue for me. It’s a medical issue. The more I weigh, the more I hurt. I dislike pain, I dislike depending on medication to not be in pain, ergo, and with no judgments on whatever weight my friends and family choose to be, I am in Weight Watchers.)

* MEDIA: The various X-titles are getting worrisomely cluttered, which makes me think we may be on-track for another ‘Seanan walks away from the X-universe for ten years’ explosion. At the same time, there are a lot of other titles that are sublimely worth reading, both in the stores -- The Boys and Hack/Slash leap immediately to mind -- and online. (Make sure to check out Finder and Girl Genius!) The current season of Supernatural is made of pure win, as are the current seasons of Dexter, True Blood, Bones, and Scream Queens.

* STEPHEN KING: His new anthology, Just After Sunset, came out on Tuesday. It’s made of raw awesome. Also, several of the stories are epic-creepy. Win.

* RECORDING: Jeff and I have one more session this coming Monday, during which we’re going to choose the fiddle tracks for ‘Oh, Michelle,’ and then it’s down to mixing and arrangement. Please, please, if you’re planning to pre-order, do it as soon as possible -- the pre-orders are what allow me to pay Jeff, and pay Oasis to press the disks.

* WRITING: Today is the six-month anniversary of the sale of Rosemary and Rue, and I am over the moon about it. Also, I finished the first major segment of The Mourning Edition, and Discount Armageddon is well-underway. For writing news, it’s really best to follow seanan_mcguire, where all such things are possible.

* LILLY: Completely out of her little fuzzy head.

What’s new with you?

A few quick catching-up bullet points.

swamp
* I'm not currently quiet because I'm sick, I'm currently quiet because I'm in Alabama, land of 'no, Seanan, you can't go into the storm drain to see the alligators, we don't have a SWAT team standing by to remove your remains.' I am having a fantastic time hanging out with the Crowells and their friend Mike, and True Blood is even more fun when watched with a group of people who can explain the references.

* Thank you to everyone who commented on my Pegasus Award. I'm still deeply over-the-moon about it, even if I'm not inking the 'look, ma, winners' strips as quickly as I'd like. Something about my scanner being broken for months on end seems to have put me slightly out of practice. (All strip commissions taken before the scanner broke are in the queue; I'm just tossing off a few 'fluffier' strips first, to make sure I remember how to work a ruler.)

* My CDBaby page for Stars Fall Home should be up any day now, which is good, because the process of getting it posted is driving me slowly out of my mind. Every time I finish filling out all their forms, they throw another one at me. Also, they won't allow me to pay setup costs via PayPal, which seems, well, rather silly. Come on, people, I know you take it, don't be dicks.

* I finished my second end-to-end rewrite on Late Eclipses of the Sun, and have actually started reconstructing the outline for The Brightest Fell. In other news, I write a lot of books, and it's a little bit frightening sometimes. Also, I do not apparently believe in taking breaks.

* Simon (Mary and Wesley's son) thinks that The Mourning Edition would be vastly improved by the addition of zombie squid which store and fire human zombies like giant decaying calamari machine guns. I am impressed by his love of the undead, if also resistant to the whole 'zombie squid' concept. Remember, you know your zombie book has gone silly when the zombie sharks show up.

* I miss Kate, Mia, and Vixy, and need them to be here now.

...and that's all. What's up in the rest of the world?

Still not dead.

swamp
1. It takes eight hours to drive from Ohio to Alabama. As Mary and I did not kill each other during this time (although we did go faintly non-verbal towards the end), we are now officially family. She is permitted to live forever, even after I conquer the planet.

2. The room I'm sleeping in is decorated to look like it's at a Disneyworld resort, in a Who Framed Roger Rabbit?-themed hotel. I have the Jessica Rabbit room. It's awesome.

3. I'm getting better about talking about Toby with people without supplying accidental spoilers. This is good. I need the practice.

4. Pecan divinity is the scariest convenience store food I've seen in quite some time.

5. Scream Queens (with James Gunn) is even funnier when you're running on fumes. Pouring cockroaches on wanna-be actresses has never been so hysterical. Also, James Gunn still needs to call me.

6. I'm about fifteen pages from the end of Late Eclipses of the Sun, at which point, there will be dancing. Dancing and rejoicing and street cartwheels.

7. OVFF was lovely, but this is not about OVFF, this is about my not being dead.

8. Not dead.

9. Not unleashing the pandemic.

10. Come to Conflikt.

Wow, my head.

color, cry
So apparently, I've finally managed to discover my own overload point. Revising the fifth book in ten months (seriously, I've averaged finishing one book every two months since January) while prepping for OVFF and trying to wrangle website updates and album pre-orders? That is my overload point. I keep finding myself hitting the end of my to-do lists for the day, going glassy-eyed, and just keeling gently over. Thud.

That is the sound that presently defines my very existence. Thud.

It's actually deeply ironic, in its own sad way; we've been trying for years to find the point where my seemingly boundless keeping-up-with-myself will give out, and now here I've finally found it and I don't actually want it. I have too much to do! I'm still a hundred pages from the end of the end-to-end revision of Late Eclipses of the Sun, which is currently eating my attention to such a degree that both The Mourning Edition and Discount Armageddon are being neglected. (I refuse to even consider the sequels that I have pending for Corey and Clady. If I think about them, I'm going to break down and weep like a little girl.)

So yeah, my cope is pretty low right now. For all of that, I remain disturbingly functional; I'm processing edits, I'm writing clean new text, I'm making changes -- some of them pretty damn major -- and I'm hitting my daily website effort benchmarks. (For example: all songs through May of 2008 are now in the online songbook. All songs through the letter 'J' have been corrected for spelling, accurate descriptions, and including the words I actually sing. It's a little freaky.) It's just the things that aren't on my lists that aren't going all that well. I literally wind up writing things like 'make a not dead post to LJ' on the list, just because I know that means it'll get done.

In closing, be gentle if possible, and I should surface, y'know, soon. Not today, not tomorrow, but soon.

And now we must rinse.

A few footnotes.

endorphins
It's been a productive Sunday here in the heart of the chaos, largely because my dictatorial to-do list demands my full attention (and includes such handy instructions as 'ink' and 'scan,' thus highly increasing the odds of my actually doing any of it). I'm getting things done! I'm packing things to mail! I'm pissing off the cats an average of once every ten minutes (a record even for me).

Having senile cats makes changing the kitty litter an exciting adventure in 'no, Nyssa, really, I promise, the cat box will be coming back, I just need to rinse it out, no, really, I wouldn't get rid of the cat box, please stop making that creaking noise.' She stalks around, stiff-legged and cranky, demanding to know whether she's ever going to be allowed to go to the bathroom again. As if I could stop her? A small mercy: for all that she's ancient and possessed by a nameless evil from beyond the grave, she still uses the litter box, and so I'm definitely invested in keeping her happy about that.

I seem to be in another art phase, which is good, since I'm supposed to draw the program book cover for Conflikt, and it would be nice if I actually had the head to do it. Have you registered for Conflikt yet? How about Duckon? No? Well, why not? Have you filled out your Pegasus nominating ballot? Come on, folks, it's Productivity Sunday! The Sunday where we get things done!

The weeks ahead are filling up fast with a plethora of things to see and do, so please, if you want some of my time, book early and book often. I'm planning on finishing the edits on An Artificial Night by the end of next week, which means I'm entering a rare lull: with Late Eclipses in early (and hence intensive) edits, I may actually have time to go out and do stuff. With people. Gasp.

In other news, nectarines are yummy.

And with my freeze ray...

angel
After a fantastic day of hanging out with Merav, Will, Sean, Meredith, and Jon, it's now the very last day of my very wonderful trip. We're slowly detangling my possessions from the rest of the household, and performing the exciting alchemy of trying to pack everything I have into my insufficiently spacious suitcase. It'll fit, because we are golden gods of packing, but still, this part is always exciting.

In the past week, I have eaten a lot of Indian food, met The Agent, met The Editor, met The Publisher, and signed my contracts for the Toby Daye books. For details on most of these things, you should probably watch seanan_mcguire, as I'm not going to cross-post most of the trip report. (Also, you may have noticed that there's been less and less book and writing news here. There's a reason for that.) I have also spent a lot of time with people I love dearly, seen Journey to the Center of the Earth, acquired a lot of reading material, and experienced a Manhattan heat wave, which is the best reminder ever that I live on the West Coast for a reason.

It's a little after noon. We'll leave for the airport a little after five, and I'll be on my flight a little bit before eight. By Pacific midnight, I'll be back in California, safely cradled in the loving arms of Chris and his little white car. Chris will hopefully remember that my arms stay a lot more loving when there's DDP, especially after I've just finished a multi-hour caffeine-free flight. Virgin America provides power outlets in coach, so -- if I can stay awake -- I'm planning to get some more work done on Toby. I feel like I've been incredibly unproductive this week. I know this to be untrue. That doesn't prevent the twitching that always comes when I finish a seven-day period with fewer than fifty pages of text.

Yes, I'm sad.

So anyway, that's the situation; that's the story; that's the placement of all things placeable. Perhaps tomorrow, everything will be different, but today, this is what is. And I'm okay with it. Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.

Roll on Sunday!

swamp
Things I have done today:

* Woken up.
* Made some new icons.
* Watched the season finale of Doctor Who.
* Inked a panel and a half of the next 'With Friends Like These...' strip.
* Called Deborah to rant, at length, about the season finale of Doctor Who.
* Dumped laundry on the bed.
* Taken the mouthwash away from the cat.
* Wished desperately for a digital camera.
* Put in a load of laundry.
* Taken out two bags of trash.
* Processed three files of edits for An Artificial Night.
* Finished a chapter of Late Eclipses of the Sun.
* Updated my planner.
* Finished inking the next 'With Friends Like These...' strip.
* Done some cleanup and colors on my May Calendar Ghoul.
* Taken a walk.
* Discussed Wiki options with Chris.
* Uploaded the next 'With Friends Like These...' strip.

Things I am planning to do today:

* Put away all that laundry.

So it's a busy Sunday, and I'd best get to it. Have fun, y'all!
hate
Step one: Wake up because Kate, having foolishly committed to going yarn shopping* with Lisa, is banging around the house at just after seven o'clock in the morning. Retrieve cunningly-planted iPod** from the table next to the couch, turn on August and Everything After, go back to sleep.

Step two: Admit that I am not doing so well with that whole 'back to sleep' initiative. Get out of couch. Go to kitchen. Retrieve cunningly-planted DDP from the fridge, thus preventing me from raining down hails of fire on the Western Seaboard. Retreat to Kate's office to read children's books until I cease to believe that the Earth has forfeited its right to existence.

Step three: Hey, cool, Kate has a copy of The View From Saturday.

Step four: Finally get off my ass and start the computer. Read the daily round of webcomics, as failure to do so will result in a lot of needless surfing. Read LJ. Consider starting to answer comments. Become exhausted by the idea of needing to be entertaining. Get another DDP.****

Step five: Update LJ. Hey, look! Footnotes!

Step six: Let's get ready to rumble! Or, y'know. Revise. Whichever seems like less work.

See you in fifty pages or a sugar-crash of epic proportions, whichever decides to come first. Goal for the weekend is clearing page two hundred in Late Eclipses of the Sun. And given enough diet soda, I just might do it.

(*Yes, there are people in this world who exist in a constant state of Needing More Yarn. I would laugh at them in a patronizing 'aren't the monkeys cute?' fashion, except for the part where a) many of them are my friends, and b) they would all turn around and laugh at me in a patronizing 'aren't the monkeys cute?' fashion for my constant state of Needing More Dinosaurs And Maybe A Nice Pandemic. The human race is infinitely strange.)

(**The Firefox spellcheck*** doesn't know the word 'iPod'. I find myself obscurely disappointed.)

(***It doesn't know 'spellcheck' either. That's just silly.)

(****For those of you playing the home game, this means I have now consumed, technically, six servings of caffeinated beverage since waking. If you've ever wondered how I maintain my awesome rate of cruising speed, you need wonder no more. Also, I have self-embalmed with artificial sweeteners, and will never die.)

So my Saturday, in a nutshell...

secrets
Post-midnight Friday: watch America's Best Dance Crew. Do not look at me like that. This is one of the few shows I actually watch 'with' my mother (different TVs, but we talk about it on the phone). Also, the judges totally chewed out the voting public. High comedy.

Nine AM: get up, and realize that my decision to talk to Deborah about fairy tales instead of going out for DDP was MADE OF FAIL. Deal by drinking a liter and a half of water and downloading edits from my proofers.

Ten AM: edit a chapter of Newsflesh before walking to the store for blessed DDP.

Eleven AM: eat steamed broccoli and watch an episode of NCIS. Finish inking a 'With Friends Like These' strip.

Noon to three-forty-five: work on editing Newsflesh. Process some edits on An Artificial Night. Ponder what I'm going to do with The Mourning Edition. Encourage the magical television fairies to give me the new episode of Doctor Who before I am forced to cry.

Four to eight: go out for The Incredible Hulk and tasty Indian food with Rey.

Eight: more editing, more writing, I am the dull.

Nine: watch Doctor Who before Deborah is forced to cry. Also sketch a comic strip that involves me, the Doctor, and a velociraptor. I am a simple soul.

Next on the docket: at eleven? I'm watchin' Raptor on Sci-Fi. Because all of the above still holds.

Happy Saturday, all!

Ah, the joys of productivity.

aan, current
After a hard day's work, I'm through the first six chapters of An Artificial Night, and have accomplished half a dozen other small-but-necessary tasks. I am thus fulfilled, and feel justified in taking my current crappy horror novel and curling up in bed, hence to read myself to sleep.

Here's hoping everything goes well for everyone for the rest of tonight, and I'll see you when I wake up.

Open file, insert machete.

editing
Step #1: Write book.

Step #2: Rewrite book.

Step #3: Lull book into a false sense of security. I recommend giving it chocolates.

Step #4: Sneak up behind book while suspenseful music is playing from unseen speakers.

Step #5: WHACK BOOK INTO TINY LITTLE PIECES WITH YOUR GIANT MACHETE OH MY SWEET LORD THE HUMANITY THE HUMANITY LOOK AT ALL THAT BLOOD AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Step #6: Giggle.

...in other news, revisions are going very, very well, I remain very, very sick, and I love my machete with a burning passion.

Ten good things about today.

swamp
10. I am not only packed and ready for BayCon, I found a ride for my suitcase! Yes! I do not have to take my suitcase -- which is almost as large as I am -- on public transit! This is just about the most awesome of all the awesome things that could have possibly happened. This is triple awesome with awesome sauce on top.

9. Chris has introduced me to an absolutely awesome series of young adult novels: Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I love Greek mythology. I love snark. I love well-written young adult fantasy. This is like the tasty candy corn sundae of fiction, and I love it.

8. My Wednesday recording session (about which there will be more later) went really, really well. We have both the lead and backing vocals for 'Causes and Effects' done, and Vixy's spoken vocals for 'Oh, Michelle'. There are still a few little verbal bits to go on 'Oh, Michelle', as well as a big stack o' guest stars for the last chorus, but that can happen later. We're moving forward!

7. Tom Smith has agreed to provide the male vocal line for 'Another Mad Science Love Song'! Yes!!!! I get to sing with Paul Kwinn and Tom Smith on the same album (and possibly the same song, if Paul's willing to be a minion). That is so, so amazing. One of the best things about recording is having the chance to record with people I not only adore as friends, but also respect musically. World of win.

6. I am less than fifty pages from the end of A Local Habitation, the second of the Toby Daye books. The improvement in this book since the last draft is almost literally breathtaking. I mean, it's just fantastic. There's still a lot of work to be done, but my faith in the text has increased a thousand-fold. And it wasn't exactly bad before! Wow. Just wow.

5. Jeff and Maya Bohnhoff will be appearing live in concert tonight at BayCon. So. Much. Awesome.

4. Thanks to my mother being willing to run errands with me, I have a fresh can of mousse, a box of fiber bars, and brand new, bright pink earplugs for the convention. So I'm going to get to, y'know, sleep, eat, and have decent hair.

3. Kate and I got our legs waxed yesterday. It hurt like hell, as I hadn't had mine done since Boskone, but it was so very, very worth it. I need to remember to visit the salon more often, to avoid such exciting adventures in pinpoint pain.

2. Thanks to BayCon, I have an excuse to wear thigh-high camo socks with big orange stars on them. In public. WIN.

1. I get to spend the weekend with Kate and Rey and Vixy and Tony and Paul and Beckett and Michelle and David and Kaia and Matt and...

World of win.

What's awesome in the world of you?

Rosemary and Rue.

rosemary
I am pleased, honored, stunned and delighted to announce that the first three October Daye books -- Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation and An Artificial Night -- have been purchased by DAW Books.

Let us pause a moment. Let us consider that. Let us become hysterical.

DAW has purchased the first three Toby books.

Rosemary and Rue is going to be published.

In point of fact, so are the two books after it. All published by DAW Books, an imprint which I have enjoyed and admired for years.

I am a DAW author.

More information as it becomes available, including release dates and general excitement. Also, probably, screaming.

MONTH OF WIN!
alh
As expected, A Local Habitation is kicking my ass (as witness how often I'm posting about it right now). It's sort of like playing Tetris, only the Tetris blocks are on fire and full of angry flying monkeys.

The flying monkeys have Ebola.

And chainsaws.

In an effort to recuperate after spending several hours fighting with the text, I just spent the better part of another hour updating my series bible and continuity guide. I don't know what I hoped to achieve with this, but it made me feel better, so I'm not gonna knock it. In other news, I have color-coded my character divisions, and made all my column spacing equal.

Sometimes, the way my brain works is very, very strange.

And then the book kicked my ass.

editing
So I get a call from Vixy, going, "Um, did I send you my edits? Because they're not actually incorporated into the latest draft."*

"...oops," said I. And, when I got back from the grocery store, I proceeded to crack open A Local Habitation and take a look. And lo and behold, a whole bunch of edits hadn't actually been processed, because sometimes, I am very, very much a blonde. Ah, the glory of being able to blame things on my hair color. What would I do without it?

Most of the day has been spent catching up on various television programs, drinking ridiculous amounts of liquid, and processing ALH edits. Brooke wins the current 'snarkiest proofer' competition, although Vixy -- in a surprise upset of the natural order -- managed to come up with more snarly ranting than anyone else. I am awed. And a tiny bit frightened. But all my pending edits are now processed, and as has so often been the case recently, the improvement is all but visible from space. Seriously, it's epic.

Writing Newsflesh somehow forced me to learn things about pacing and storytelling that had been escaping me for ten years, and now I'm armed with a whole new set of tools. Most of these tools are labeled things like 'do not hold after you have lit the fuse', 'do not expose to open flame', and 'do not taunt happy fun ball', but still, they're awesome additions to my arsenal. And they're making this book a worthwhile successor to Rosemary and Rue.

I am so excited by this whole process!

(*This is, obviously, a paraphrase. But since I tend to quote people exactly, I thought I'd specify that this time, I really and truly wasn't. The content remains the same. So.)

Conversations that are funny.

editing
Adam: You've been doing a lot of writing lately.
Me: Every time I revise three chapters of A Local Habitation, I let myself write a chapter of Lycanthropy.
Adam: So you're rewarding yourself for writing...by writing.
Me: Uh-huh! I'm thirteen chapters in now.
Adam: Because you really needed to bribe yourself to write.
Me: It keeps me focused.
Adam: You know what else keeps you focused?
Me: Mmm?
Adam: Not being crazy.

In other news, thirteen chapters of A Local Habitation and seventeen chapters of Lycanthropy and Other Personal Issues have been completed. This will be one of the last times when L&OPI will have the higher chapter-count, due to my special brand of resource allocation, but hey. Faeries and were-coyotes and murder mysteries, oh my!

Sunday morning, it comes.

swamp
Good morning, world!

Saturday was spent enjoying the company of friends and the glory of a Cruz-and-Saber barbecue, which also meant I got to watch Kate try to navigate through Alameda (always entertaining, really). We then went to see Singin' in the Rain at the El Cerrito Speakeasy -- one of Kate's favorite musicals, but I'd never seen it before. The female lead went on to play Aggie in the Halloweentown movies. I find this...disturbing.

I have continued to machete-smack A Local Habitation, and I'm maintaining my sixteen page per day average, which gives me hope of eventually finishing it (without anyone needing to die in the process). I'll take a break for some Lycanthropy when I hit whatever chapter point comes first after fifty pages.

I'm on my way to downtown, to meet N. for lunch at Biryani. Mmmmm, Indian food and company. And then? Home to Concord, to prep my mailing for tomorrow and actually do some cleaning in my room. I'm about to have house guests for, pretty much, The Month Of April, with first Teddy and Tom, and then Fiddler Amy invading. So expect flailing and joy.

Whee!

Things what I am doin'.

swamp
1. Rewriting enormous swaths of A Local Habitation to bring them into line with the changes I've made to Rosemary and Rue. I keep using carpentry terms for this process, for no applicable reason that anyone can see. Presently, I'm ripping the entire front porch off, prior to constructing a new front porch to nail onto the house. This is very messy. I have metaphorical drywall in my hair, and I keep hitting my thumb with the hammer. But I shall prevail, because I am deeply, deeply stubborn.

2. Working on the next chunk of Lycanthropy and Other Personal Issues, which is doing a great deal to keep me sane. It's hard to go crazy when you're dealing with snarky teenage were-coyotes in looooooooove. Also, it's hard to go crazy when you have viable, professional reasons to write the phrase 'snarky teenage were-coyotes in looooooooove'. How much better can life be? Really, now.

3. Starting the process of assembling a crack team of awesome people to do a sequel to Leaves From the Babylon Wood, my 2005 convention-exclusive chapbook. I need to figure out who to ask to write the introduction, but other than that, I have options, second options, backstops for my second options, and all those other fabulous things that OCD Girl tends to put into place before starting something. To-do lists are my anti-drug.

4. Inking the next 'With Friends Like These...' strip. They've been slow lately, due to a) rewrites, b) first writes, c) edits, d) lack of new television (I tend to ink while I watch TV -- strip #45 was entirely done during The Color of Magic), and e) luggage issues. I can't ink if I can't carry my art supplies. But things are beginning to grind forward again as various shows return to the air, and we should soon resume something like normal speeds.

5. Assembling a set list for BayCon, where I will be able to sit down and brainstorm a good structure for my set list for Conflikt. Ah, planning.

6. Considering the fact that maybe to-do lists aren't my anti-drug, but just my drug, period.

7. Failing to care.

What's up with y'all?

Weirdest to-do list ever.

stepford
To-do for today:

1) Finish processing Rosemary edits from Merav. Do not hit Merav with the machete.

2) Finish pencil commission before the deadline makes that nifty 'rushing by' wooshing noise, and the people who commissioned me feel the need to murder me with my own machete.

3) Watch part two of The Color of Magic.

4) Remove recycling from room before it comes to horrible plastic parody of life and begins attempting to destroy me and everything that I have ever loved. Because you all know it's going to happen before too terribly much longer.

5) Process all those Rosemary edits that will inevitably come in just as soon as I think I'm finished for the night and can start doing something else, like sleeping, or petting the cat. (It is a continual source of amazement that the cat does not spend more time attacking the laptop.)

6) Get at least one more panel done on the current 'at home' FLT strip, since the person it's a surprise for is only going to be properly surprised if I manage to finish the damn thing sometime before the heat-death of the known universe. (To avoid wear-and-tear on the paper, I often have a 'home' strip and a 'work' strip, which get inked in parallel. Whichever finishes first gets the lower number, unless they're sequential, like the Conflikt strips, and then it just makes me crazy and causes delays.)

7) Start the chapter drop-ins for Newsflesh to relax before beginning the next round of Rosemary edits. (Two new chapters, lots and lots of waiting.)

...my idea of what constitutes a 'high priority item' is very strange sometimes.

Rosemary and Rue status.

rosemary
So, um.

There are edits to process from various people; there's another flip to send out to the current proofing team, containing several more chapters; there's a lot of work left to be done. But the heavy lifting, 'I have a chainsaw, and I'm not afraid to use it', machete-slashing, going through the underbrush with a screaming rebel yell part of the rework?

Yeah. That's done. As of about fifteen minutes ago.

I WIN AT MACHETE.

I'm gonna go have ice cream.

Ah, the joys of editing.

rosemary
The single best editorial comment to come from the current round of Rosemary and Rue rewrites is...

"I can't believe you just left me with a cliffhanger with an actual CLIFF."

...I love Brooke.

Me and my machete.

rosemary
Status of Rosemary rewrite: now through chapter thirteen.
Chapters entirely scrapped and rewritten: two.
New scenes added in potentially unexpected places: one.
Continuity issues repaired: two.
Continuity issues spotted for the first time: one.
Words slashed from the prologue: roughly six hundred.

And, in other news, gleh. Seriously, seriously, gleh. I got home last night, finished the revisions on the chapter I'd begun working on Monday at Kate's, and promptly burned through the next two chapters, before whipping around and taking the machete to the prologue again. I love my machete. And it loves me back, rewarding my affection with blood and gore and the screams of the innocent. Ruthless editing: it's better with sharp edges.

At my current rate of speed, assuming I can manage to get some work done this weekend while I'm in Sacramento, I should be finished with my revision pass by the end of the next week -- that's the goal, anyway. I tend to pick up speed as I get more comfortable with the editing process, which is helping, even as I veer towards some of the rewrites that I know the book is going to require. I also need to do some exposition patch-and-place in the earlier chapters, both to make up for things that have been removed from the prologue (a necessary surgery which has sped up the book's initial pace by quite a lot) and to clarify things that have been giving people trouble. The whole process has been fairly fascinating. All hail editing!

Upon reflection, I've decided to cancel tonight's trip to the comic book store, in hopes of getting up at least through chapter sixteen. (It helps that this is a very light week for me; I have, like, nothing coming in. It's all very tragic.) Behold the depths of my devotion! And also, the depths of my desire not to get messily murdered by the folks I have proofing this draft, since several of them have never seen the text before, and I've already been promised violent funtimes if I don't make with the rest of the story, stat. Never a bad sign, although it's one that makes me worry about walking alone down dark alleyways (normally a hobby of mine).

Once this is all done, I'll be turning around to process the edits on Newsflesh and drop in the two missing chapters. This may be a few weeks, given the scope of the current revision project, but it's definitely next on the docket.

Whee!

Monday morning status check. Wheeeeee.

see
To say that last night's dreams were disjointed is to give them slightly more credit than they actually deserve. The fact that a Great White shark marooned in a sunken living room was a major plot point should really indicate this much more clearly than simple words. Why do I think my dreams were weird last night? Giant. Living room. Shark. And thus is all made perfectly clear. I blame this on an excess of popcorn consumed whilst visiting San Ramon, bad Science Fiction Channel original movies, and having spent the entire morning knocking my head against Rosemary and Rue. WHAM.

(It's actually very strange, and very refreshing, to be attacking the book on this level, and at this level of fiddly detail. I actually wrote a new scene yesterday morning. Like, something that wasn't a reworking or rearrangement of existing text -- which is complex and difficult and interesting all on its own -- but was actually putting something in that wasn't there before. Stunning and strange! Stunning and strange and oddly liberating. I am shaking off the chains of my prior drafts! I am set free from the tyranny of old text! I am...still more than two hundred pages from being done. Well, crud.)

My missing and mourned killer space octopus attack shirt decided to reappear this morning, as mysteriously as it initially vanished. I think it was off at a cephalopod shirt convention, which means it was probably at Brooke's place, since she's shown no signs of a recent tentacle shortage. I don't care if my clothing wants to go to speciality conventions without me, but I do wish it would warn me first, if only so I wouldn't shred my bedroom looking for things that aren't there. That's only fun if you've been drinking heavily before you start.

Kiri brought me the plush Ebola virus from the Giant Microbes collection yesterday; a little piece of awesome that was only made more awesome when we discovered that the loop in the plush was exactly the right size to let it 'ride' on my smallest plush T-Rex. So now I have plague carrying dinosaurs running rampant through my bedroom, which -- given that most of my dinosaurs are named after strains of hemmoragic fever -- delights me in every way that it is possible for plague and giant saurians to delight. That's a lot of ways.

Jeff has confirmed that he's got the basic backing track for 'Oh, Michelle' done, and is now working on 'Causes and Effects'. (To give an idea of the scope of this album, despite its narrow subject range, 'Oh, Michelle' includes the phrase 'oh, Michelle, what the hell were you thinkin' -- were you drinkin'?', while 'Causes and Effects' includes 'little girl in wire-framed glasses, no one says she's beautiful...'. There are a lot of ways to approach mad science. Some of them are actually halfway civil.) We should be able to arrange for my next vocal session soon, which means, yes, Vixy, you'll be able to hear 'Causes and Effects' before I expect you to sing it. Yeesh. Some people...

This week is looking to be jam-packed with acts of absolute randomness and moments of raw confusion. Tonight, I'm meeting up with Kate for a tedious commute made better by companionship; tomorrow is the new Counting Crows album; Wednesday is new comic day; Thursday is Weight Watchers. Friday is, of course, Friday, and will provide a convenient gateway to Saturday, when I'm taking the train to Sacramento. And, of course, writing, writing, writing, which is filling every spare second I can squeeze out of the universe. (When your two biggest passions are 'writing' and 'walking', well, you wind up with some really exciting time crunches. If I could walk and write at the same time, I'd be golden, and that's why, someday, I'm going to hook my computer to a treadmill.)

And that's the Monday morning blonde status for this week. What's new with you?

I fought the book, and the book won.

rosemary
So yes: I have spent most of this beautiful springtime Saturday in my room, hammering my head against the keyboard in the hopes of having a book come out the other end. Hey, if it works, don't knock it, right? Disturbingly enough, it really does seem to be working. Rosemary and Rue has lost over three thousand words since the beginning of this rework, and while they were all lovely words in context, trimming them off is really taking the text down to its fighting weight. It's leaner, it's meaner, and it's a much more solid read.

It's really fascinating, going at the text this ruthlessly. I've always thought of myself as a rather vicious self-editor when it really mattered, but this is a whole new kind of hack-and-slash. Interestingly enough, I attribute this largely to finishing Newsflesh, which was the longest, cleanest manuscript I've ever produced (almost six hundred pages right out the gate). I learned a lot about myself as an author during the process of writing that book, and I'm applying those lessons directly to Toby, who's been with me long enough to really deserve the benefits.

I'm estimating that this rework will take about two weeks to complete, at its current pace; I'll probably slow down for some of the middle chapters, which are going to be trickier, but my familiarity with the text, combined with my general writing speed (and the part where this is all I'm working on right now -- even the Newsflesh edits are on hold) mean that there really shouldn't be any major delays.

Whee!

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