Category Archives: paper whites

this is why it is like trudging through pudding

this book edit is taking forever. Here’s why:


Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 7.41.48 PM
The black is zero draft, the purple is new draft. LABORIOUS.

seriously. That’s about how much I have changed, all over the first half of the draft. Nevermind the actual plot stuff I’ve been adding.  That section about her jacket I spent approx. 5 hours on and it’s still kind of bad. I swear. BLAH.


just a note about at things, lists or something

this is what is happening in my head right now:

  • more research on the Rosicrucians, specifically from a symbolism point of view
  • sub rosa: under the rose, flower symbols, mythology and what that might look like/how also: thorns (see above: Rosicrucians, the Rosy Cross)
  • tarot: the Temperance card (Rider/Waite deck)
  • my favourite: the unicursal hexagram
  • Willow Trees: serpent/grief & death (also Salix, also calligraphy ink)
  • Altor
  • Crowley/Thelema, LaVey, still might be a book in there, somewhere, but I have two others to write first
  • Scene structure, character motivation/action: spear carriers VS full-fledged, what does that look like, should it, might? who knows.

anyway, this book I’m writing is really nifty. I have such affection for it.

a draft, like a breeze coming in through the cracks in the walls.

So I started Gingerbread in May 2014.  About six months later, maybe more, it became The Place Where We Belong, but now it’s the GingerbreadProject because I haven’t found a title for it yet and for me, no title is better than wrong title.  I seem to have started this project in May of 2014, the file that I have from that date is about 16K and most of it doesn’t exist in the current draft. Versions, sure,  looking a bit like twins separated at birth who go on to live separate lives, but there are huge chunks that just got caught away.

I finished the zero draft, which I’d written out of order in bits and pieces (I’m also working on short fiction as the mood strikes), on March 19, 2015, and yesterday the book that I’d cobbled together and had to almost entirely re-write,  is now a magical first draft, at 57,000 words.  3 months isn’t so bad, and it showed me a thing or two about who I am and how I work.  I’ve written my whole life, and although I don’t know if trying to have a novel published is a thing I want, I also don’t know if it’s a thing I don’t want, which puts me in a unique place in my own head. I think it is. But I also know it’s not a thing I’m hitching my wagon to.  I will be okay, either way.

I do think that I have a unique voice, and I’m proud of my little book and I want to be part of the voice of writers that write about diversity and inclusiveness, and I want to be part of that movement. I might be a super white cis-gendered yuppy, but I know how much it hurts when the people around you don’t feel you have value.  I know how hard people will work at trying to convince you (us. me.)  it’s true.  I want to tell a different story.

I found this image today, and it’s amazing:

alchemical rosicrucian


The flowers, the crown. Crown for the Blood King and flowers for the garden of Eden. Not canonical, of course, but I have borrowed so many small things from the Order of the Golden Dawn, and the Voynich MSS, that this combination, just makes me happy.  There’s a part of the book where the MC, Haven, is looking at tapestries on the second floor of the Blood House, and I suspect this one will be there, hanging outside the Rose Room, where Haven first meets the Blood King.  It’s interesting that it popped up after I’d spent half the morning looking at the tattoos of Kristen Holliday (which are amazing, btw), because the flowers and crown would look so, so beautiful in ink (I mean seriously, look at those tattoos!).  Jamie Lee Moyer tumbled the link to Kristen’s blog, and yay for tumbler (And Jamie!)

So,  now I’m thinking about all of this again, all of this magical mystical business. I’m not a scholar, and I never have been, so the chance of me writing some complex thing is very, very unlikely.  I always wonder why we can’t have books in which people just sit about and drink tea.




let me ask you a question: what time is love?

remove 9K, add 1K. That’s how it goes. I worked on the rewrite of my diner-chapter last night, when the Blood King comes and Haven (MC) meets him for the first time. I want him to be scary, unreliable, borderline dangerous. But he’s nice. He’s half fallen angel and all vampire. He’s ruthless and serious and highly, highly capable. But he’s not evil. He’s just old, and seen the world in a way my 17yr old protag hasn’t. He wants to take care of her, she who has lost almost everything.

I need more bad guy, or in my case, it’s bad womens. There are three witches, and when they come nothing good happens, and I know this. And I know the Blood King saves the day and it doesn’t look like saving at all. I know who dies, or almost dies, and I know that Haven’s world changes, again, and I know that her best friend falls in love after the book ends and I know she and the Blood King build a relationship that’s unexpected and full of love and caring because she needs a parent and he makes a good one.

But I feel I’m lacking the epic-ness that folks attach to when they read specfic YA. I write small stories and I always have. I suppose, though, the bigger-ness will come out in the rewrite, and I like having a vampire, who, at his core, is deeply in love with the fallen angel that takes care of him, is tired of knowing the secrets of the universe and desperately misses his son. I think his story would be a great one and maybe one day I’ll write the whole of it, but right now he just wants to make helpings.  But he needs to make helpings and also be at least a tiny bit scary. He did threaten Haven, which was nice. But it wasn’t quite enough.






then and now

you know, you get an idea for a thing, and then you write the first couple of paragraphs and you realize it’s not a thing you overly want to write, but it makes you think of an older project with a similar-ish tone, and you know that wip, even with it’s suepr-sized flaws, is still way better?

My name is Aloysius Adler. Archie. Neither’s better than the other, at least not in high school.  I’m sixteen. I skip an average of one class every three weeks. Enough to make me feel like a badass, but not quite enough to warrant a phone call to my parents.  If there’s a bet, I’m going to hedge it. I have a part-time job running blood between the local donation centre and the hospital. On my bike.

I’m also the great grandson of Aleister Crowley.

That probably makes me weird. Or popular. Or something.  My best friend, Grey, is seven minutes younger than I am, way better looking and the great granddaughter of Anton LaVey. If we drew a pentagram on the sidewalk, a Hellmouth would probably open and Kansas us to the sixth or seventh or whatever level of Hell had the brimstone. Except mine wouldn’t be a pentagram, it’d be a universal hexagram.

I am also bad at math.

It’s like that.

“I’m not watching that,” I said, as we stood outside of the Plaza theatre, my hands on my hips and one helluva firm expression on my face.

“But!” Box exclaimed. “It’s Adam Sandler!”

He said it like it was Gandhi, or Malcom X. “Repeat, not watching any Adam Sandler film, ever. I don’t care that everyone liked Happy Gilmore, I just won’t. He will annoy me and I will be cranky.” I looked up at the marquee. “What about the shark one?” I stretched out my hands, curled up my fingers and gnashed them together like big sharp teeth.

Box made a face.

I raised my arms and dropped my hands on to his shoulders, shaking him lightly. Pleading. “Please. For the love of all things holy, anything but Adam Sandler.”

He grinned and hummed the theme to Jaws.

I decided to make him pay for the popcorn. Movies were pretty standard for Box and I. Good for when I had days off and he was taking days off due some religious observance or another. Today it was Bastille day and he was suddenly, unexplainably French.

Popcorn and chocolate bought, we headed into the theater, settling into the rough-worn seats. Within ten seconds Box had his feet up on the chair in front of us, and within another thirty the theatre’s usher had given him the “Feet off of the seats, please” lecture as he grumbled and made another face and managed to curl himself up in the chair without the world ending. It was always a good day when major catastrophes could be averted.

Or ignored in the darkness of a movie theatre.

Stretching out my legs, I leaned over and rested my head on Box’s shoulder.

“He’s fine, girl.”

I shifted to face him, “I’m a worry wart. I know. But still. He’s not good with hospitals.” That was an understatement. I frowned and made a funny noise. “Gah.”

“Wouldn’t it suck if you couldn’t pick your family?” Box said with a smile as he kissed my forehead.


Not to say the 2nd excerpt doesn’t need a shitpile of work, cuz ‘lo, does it ever. But still. I have a fondness.

and then weeks go by

I’ve been doing a re-write of The Place Where We Belong, and it’s amazing – but I’m around the 30K mark, which is semi-middle and even in the rewrite it’s muddly and annoying and I feel like I’m wandering through muck and mud and other sticky, impossible things. I felt all full of magic and sparkly bits when I started this re-write, and now? OMFG.

I’m working on the chapter where Aiden and Haven have their heart-to-heart. I know Terror would have told Haven things before the book began, but since I wasn’t there, I don’t know what he said. Weirdest thing ever, this writing business.

Parts are better, and I know that. This is the part where it’s all “Gah, give up. Go play video games.” I couldn’t be writing this any more slowly, but I’m still getting up early every morning and at least getting some words in, some edits in. Definition of insanity and all that. Anyway, still here. Not thrilled. Slogging through.


Go team.


oh, hai, where’d I go?

clearly not to bloglandia.  Anyways. What’s happened? I’ve read some things and worked a bunch and although I have been super-stalled on the chapter from hell, I have managed to write just over 15K this year. Let me tell you, a running excel word count thingy sure makes one feel like a fancy pants.

I recently realized, due to some Circumstance, that, if I were so inclined, I could buy a house. Please note houses in my ‘hood go for 600K. My neighbour has a rotting couch on their lawn and their roof is fixed with a solo cup + a garbage bag. So. Probably not in this neighbourhood. But it’s such a strange thing to think about, because I am old and until now hadn’t really been in a situation to even consider such an Adult Move. Anyway, it’s a long term thing, and considering what an amazeballs deal I have on my 3 bedroom rental apartment, and am 100% debt free, it’s hard to imagine putting a bunch of money into a house when I could continue to put a bunch of money into the bank and wait for housing prices to dip. I realize this goes against Things We Are Told because Houses are Good Investments, but for serious, I pay so little for rent because of my situation (renting a family investment property with a friend – we each half 1/2 of a house), that the idea of doubling my monthly payments because Investing is so awesome, just feels really vomit-inducing.

Anyway. That’s way off from our usual conversations on this blog. What’s happened? K and I recorded another podcast.  I’m pretty sure it’s a good time.  You could listen and decide for yourself :D

I’ll wait here.

*tappity tap tap tap*

I tried to make a crispy egg (although I can’t eat yolks, because they are oogie) and almost did it. I think my oil wasn’t hot enough, but the crazy-sauce puffery of an egg cooked in hot oil is hilarious and I highly recommend this thing.

What else? Not much more on the numbers station story (The Light’s Gone Out, Say Goodnight). My poly-wolf-raven story, “And The Woods are Silent” went through a bit of a transition and is no longer with “This Patchwork Flesh”, but instead will be appearing in “Start a Revolution”. The story is long, and complicated, but the point is I kind of love that story and I worked my damn fool head off on it, and I’m just really happy that I’m writing.

I really can’t wait to figure out the main plot behind the numbers station story. Also, writing numbers without a possessive is killing me, even though I know one doesn’t belong there.

anyway. That’s a thing with me. I’ve decided to start reading Fables again, so ordered a few more to add to my collection.  And, also? I really need to finally play The Wolf Among Us. I move slowly. It’s just a true thing.


miss mosh, have some stuff. la la.

Since I failed my reading goal last year, I’m apparently trying to make up for it. The fastest book read, so far, is Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, a LGBTQA YA that I started yesterday and finished after work today. What I really wanted (THIS IS KIND OF A SPOILER!?)


…..was Aristotle to discover the secret of his own universe, but his parents did it for him and that was weird. Anyway, that was book #5. Book #6 is Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire because I am taking a 512-ish page break from YA, although this book has a glossary of names, and we all know how I feel about that (no, we don’t: I feel that makes a book fussy and since I’m old and my brain is fragile, I can’t remember all those characters, but! I am going to do my best to read it anyhoodles).

I kept myself awake last night narrating a short story to myself, the one about how when Cupid shoots his bow and misses he’s cursed to fall in love with the person he “missed”. I have the idea, and yanno, who knows but good gravy, I can’t get the tone right on paper at all. I started it in 3rd, moved to 1st and then it got goofy and there are things I do and don’t do and one of them is write goofy fiction (Unless I’m writing the Twelve Point Couriers, then they get to be goofy but they also get to be sad. I have rules). So, we will see. Perhaps this thing will just remain a nugget and grow no bigger.

I found my way back into TPWWB, which was nice because I’d been spinning my wheels trying to fix Chapter 4 and had driven grooves in the path out of that particular forest and this metaphor is too much now but suffice it to say I was getting absolutely nowhere. And then I did, and then I decided to just move on already and rewrite the 2nd half of the book and so this year I have written just over 8,000 words, which is kind of a Deal For Me, and also I will take it!

In non-writing news, my Seabound friends (who are magically on tour this year – I haven’t seen them since 2007) are not coming to the west coast, now, until 2016. For one thing, how on earth is it 2016 next year (that’s the future), and how come things like day jobs have to get in the way of touring? I am sure Frank’s nice students in the psychology dept would understand if he missed the first two weeks of classes because he was spending quality time with his BFF, me.

Also: Terminus, the mighty, local industrial-ish/scene music festival released the first band announcement, and it’s Cocksure, which is crazy and also making me wonder if this year will be very manly (last year was very manly. Note: this is not hard to do in Industrial), but i will take this sort of manly because, RevCo. I was really, really, really hoping the aforementioned Seabound were going to be on the lineup, but I think our prairie area here counts, maybe, as west coast. We’re not east, that is a thing I know for sure.

And now, that I have covered music & writing, the only two things I really talk about here, I feel I can go to bed.






Haven & Aiden

Sometimes you write a thing, and it amuses the living poop out of you (maybe that’s a metaphor? for something? Anyhoos…)


“The Crimson,” he said. “We believe in conviction. We believe that there are things greater than ourselves, and that if we are open to possibility, the impossible will welcome us.”

It sounded like cult propaganda. I tapped my teeth together. “When I was seven I believed in the power of Grayskull but it didn’t make me a Master of the Universe.”

a tale of a tree sloth.

or, how come it’s so much easier to plot someone else’s book? Emotional attachment? Lack of? Unfamiliarity with the story, so your brain doesn’t fill in the gaps, regardless of how big and chasm-y they are?

There’s a certain confidence-build in being able to see the holes in someone else’s work. Not in a bad way, but in a way of building. Make fix! That’s what I’ve learned this morning, anyway. Or perhaps this afternoon.

I’m feeling very positive, though, in the work-front (work being writing, not the laborious day job business). Which I like, very much.

Today: 778 words on The Place Where We Belong.

Total: 1840

Not much by the standards of many, but if you remember there were years when the wordcount was this much: 0, I will take 1840. And I will take it with joy, and aplomb and things that rhyme with orange. Or things that don’t, as the case may be.