Category Archives: life beyond the minimum safe distance

holy cheese sauce, it’s a post

so here’s a tiny list of things that i will do in 2018:

  • finish/revise a draft of Happily Ever After
  • outline/plot Ellis, Underground
  • decide what to do with my YA, Gingerbread (do i want to write YA long term? I dunno. Maybe? I think that’s an important thing to consider)
  • add plot to my Last of Us fanfic (yeahp, I wrote a fanfic. Unlike so many other fanfics, Joel does NOT HAVE SMOOCHIE TIME WITH ANYONE because OMG TLOU is NOT ABOUT SMOOCHIE TIME)
  • play through TLOU, and finish Witcher and Dragon Age: Inquisition, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and all the video games ever.
  • actually make my goodreads challenge of 27 books (I was short 2 books this year, dangnabbit)
  • complete my Spencerian practice notebooks and beyond!
  • keep up my bulletjournal tracking
  • go to Whitehorse and some other random destination that doesn’t involve the US because I am still mad at you, US. Maybe it really is to go to Costa Rica and hang out with baby turtles? BABY TURTLES.
  • actually watch some movies that matter
  • keep myself dedicated to fixing my small Sugar Problem
  • keep donating the things i don’t need
  • fix my useless spare room and make it less useless
  • write a short story about a girl and a fox and the side of the road
  • and do some other stuff, TBD I dunno. :D
  • dance.

and in other news…

So! News abounds!

In some heroic feet (spanning far too many years than I wish to count), I am 100%, totally finished the rewrite of Gingerbread and I actually kind of love it. I mean warts, right? Because my brain has been in that world for so long, and I have no idea how to look at that book with fresh eyes, I am opting not to Pitchwars it this year. Maybe I will regret that, I dunno. I did hit another writerly milestone this week, aside from finishing Ginger, so I’m pretty excited about that.

I’m just trying to figure out the query. If I have done 6 full drafts on my novel I have probably done 36 on my query and the last line is still a poop. A POOP I SAY.

What else. I might have adopted a 7year old lutino cockatiel named Angelica Monroe Lemonloaf Squawkypants – or Lemon, as her previously family named her. She is kind of amazing, but also a lesson in not adopting a pet unless you are prepared for all the things that come with pet adoption, including a cockatiel who hasn’t laid eggs in forever except for that time she moved into your house and fell in love with you.

So, now we have a sleep cage and I have to set up the backroom to make space for that. She is super duper cute though.

And, I think I’ve decided to head into Happily (n)Ever After, although the first line of a possible Gingerbread sequel (not part of the original story) popped into my head i am going to exploding kittens POPE OF NOPE that because dang.

there is no room in this house for a sequel.

otherwise TERMINUS happened, in which many beats were danced to, and also Wulfband kind of destroyed my brain.

Yesterday I made maps for HNA and figured out my plots, which means  can technically start outlining. I’m looking at this, which is a character map for Breaking Bad, but shows all of the ways in which characters connect, what they want and what they can’t have and I think those are pretty important things to  consider when one is writing a bookie wookie. I’ve also gone through 80% of Take off Your Pants!, a plotting book for pansters, and made copious mounts of notes. Today I think I shall go on an adventure and discover woodsy, watery places and eat a scone, stop by the writer’s centre and who knows what else.

okay?
OK!

 

loglines.

the last two weeks i have been editing the ever-loving-crap out of my YA fantasy, GINGERBREAD. So much editing that my eyes have gone buggy. The other day I met with my writers group and opened Ginger, and couldn’t even read my own typing. My eyeballs revolted.

I revised around 20K, if revising means re-writing whole chunks because you (and your awesome CP) came up with a plot bunny that strengthens the story and makes it more original, and so I am pretty thrilled with where it’s at, except for the fact that looking at it is giving me a twitch.

So, I took yesterday off, and will go back into the revision later today. For now, though, I’m playing ME: Andromeda and working on a logline for my Adult Fantasy, HAPPILY NEVER AFTER. Anyway, it’s interesting to think about plot bits and what would sound cool in a logline, but what is really hard to get in a logline. Here’s the logline I have so far:

In the Land of Foehn, alliances are forged through the bespelling of Princesses and the promise of Happily Ever After. When the Princess of Gael goes missing from her forest shrine, and is later found wandering the bank of the Black Pond, Diego Abello, servant to the Queens, is questioned. When his lover, the blood witch Markus Crowe, is framed for the crime, Diego must risk not only his life, but the honour of his family line in order to protect Markus from a power more dangerous than the Queens.

Here’s the stuff I can’t figure how to get into the logline (yet):

Markus is a somnambulist, and works with his partner to put the Princesses to sleep to wait for their Princes.

Markus is kind of in love with Diego, Diego is mostly ignoring his feelings, and lover is kind of a strong word although also not.

They’re both in love with Annabel.

Markus is also a faerie, and it’s his mother that harmed the Princess, and his mother that Markus needs to be afraid of/is afraid of.

Annabel is the ass-kicker of the group.

Words are hard.

Okay. Take care. Bye bye.

-me.

the Chimes of Aignesz

in the last month or so, my weird little WIP about fairytale princesses, complex relationships, love, murder, blood magic, blackmail and treachery (if all goes well!) grew from a tiny little thing, into 10 thousand words of magic.

Diego’s neck grew hot. His coat was still on, and the intyn leaf had long worn off, and so the memory of Niall twitched beneath his skin. “We delivered a body. A corpse. You can’t blow out a candle and expect the dead to walk. Resurrection is not so simple.” Diego had never believed in resurrectionist magic. He still, after all the years they’d known each other, eyed Markús with suspicion, and the tricks the man performed with only his hands. He had never believed the denizens of the Blood Red Wood gave life, just that they took it away.

I’m fortunate that my CP is a genius, and upon reading directed the story in a much more plot-logical way, so now it is about notes and planning and coming up with the middle to avoid the muddle, and then the ending. I guess I know what happens in the end, which is what makes fiction different from real life.

I was talking to my writing chums last night — once a week I meet up with 2 or 3 other writers just to write — about how characters, for me, come fully formed, and that I’m terrible with planning, and coming up with cause/effect. It’s just not how my brain works. My brain works in emotional reactions. But in order to have a reaction, I have to have already put my character in a situation. And not just on paper, I have to know how they felt when it was happening, and how they lived through it and I learn through writing them. I don’t suspect this is different from other writers, really, but for me it’s the germ. It’s the genesis.

Which is why it’s really important for me to have CPs and readers that are great at plot bunnies, and cause/effect. I can see it in other people’s work, but usually not in my own.

But this, this Happily (n)Ever After. Gah. I am so deep in love with it already. Markus, the blood magician and his boyfriend Rayif. His lover, Diego, and their lover Annabel and the place where they all intersect and how relationships aren’t ever equal, and jealousy and complexity and all of those things.

Also blood. Because why not.

I think I just wanted to write a book about a blood magician. Because one showed up in The Mourning Wolves, too, and his name was also Marcus (for reasons – I had an RP character years ago, who was also a blood magician, whose name was Marcus, because why not? And I just wanted to find the right place to put him), but now poor Marcus will be expelled from the wolves, and instead, live with the princesses in the place called Aetherny.

I think he’ll be happy there. I’m pretty much happy wherever he is, which I guess says something about me, and i am TOTALLY OKAY WITH THAT.

In other news, it was a week of new music:

William Control‘s new EP: Revelations: the Black dropped (some WC is NSFW you have been warned. it’s cool, it’s his thing. I got no qualms.)

And, due to the Terminus announcements (because i am way lucky to live in a place that has an industrial/electronic/dark music festival), bought The Rain Within: Thunderheart, which is syrupy, slightly gloomy 80’s influenced synthpop, and it its beautiful.

It’s also Feb 24. 242. Which means it’s international EBM day. And although the world is full of wonderful ebm, I share with you this classic, by our friends Front 242. I’m guessing you just made the connection.

What else? We bought tickets to see Logan. And I am beside myself with excitement, and I realize it’s because Logan reminds me of my husband Joel, and his sidekick Ellie, but I have actual super high hopes for Logan as a superhero movie that doesn’t annoy me. Also, there’s something about woodsy Hugh Jackman that is just working for my ovaries.

I would also super really like a release date for The Last of Us 2. Okay? Okay.

But first I have to finish editing my YA. But not today, because I’m going to see Matthew Good, and then tomorrow my aforementioned William.

Because sometimes life is kind, and full of fun.

this was not on the agenda.

and because it is precisely not what i should be working on, i wrote 1000 words on the novel-version of Happily (n)Ever After.

Here’s a bit:

Markús curled a hand around the back of a chair, pulling one of the blooded cloths free. “You have worked both sides for too long, Diego. Either you are of us, or you are a pawn of the Edicts.” He took a deep breath. “Do they know of Niall?”

Niall. Not the Earl. “You know they must not.” Because Niall was young, and a son of a tailor, and there were rules around those that worked for the Edicts, and by being with Niall he was breaking one rule, but with Markús, he broke at least three more.

“Is honesty not the best policy?”

“Don’t threaten me, Markús, it would not go well.” For Markús had his own secrets, but Diego had known them for too long, and was now complicit in all of the lies they told, and so the strings that held them together could not be so easily unraveled, not without them all coming apart.

Markús placed the towel back over the chair’s edge. “I would never, my darling Diego.”

But both of them knew he just had.

my day in rockstars/so I’m afraid Enough to stay wide awake

Hey Alice
I’m caving in, I’m caving in
I know it’s not allowed
But sometimes I fantasize
I’m peeling off my skin
Enough to fill it up again
Hey rabbit
Into the pavement
I’m caving in
Mother told me to be something
So I’m afraid
Enough to stay wide awake
Hey rabbit
I came to win, I came to win
I know it’s not allowed but sometimes
You might find
It’s feels like nothing is
And it’s everything you’ve been
Hey…Alice into the pavement
I’m caving in
-Failing the Rorschach Test,
Matthew Good.

all about that bass.

it’s like a new music-a-palooza around here. Last post I mentioned The Blood of Others, and my William, and then alla sudden all the music in music land was released – new Dead When I found Her (OMG) and which does not ignore Michael’s love of Skinny Puppy, but then just when you think you’re onto this album, it changes into something different.

Randomly, Rotersand released a new album and the Gothiscles showed up again in my inbox (and I need to go download them), and it’s like a dance music wonderland around here.

I went to see Dr. Strange, and yes the orientalism is a bit much, and there’s no good reason (despite how good she is) that Tilda couldn’t have been played by someone else, but I am honestly not sure how they would have gotten away from the mystical asian stereotypes in that film. Cumberbatch was great, and my Mads (hubba hubba) was pretty hilarious doing martial arts, when in my heart he is always eating half-raw meat in a very expensive suit. (FANNIBAL).

I sent my wee short story off to the market, and so shall soon hear on that. I’m editing a book for a friend, working on Gingerbread, and The Mourning Wolves and generally not understanding why it is so dark out.

 

let’s talk about love, baby

or! alternately:

There’s more new music, in the form of “The Blood of Others“, which is kind of a post-witchhouse thang, fronted by one of the dudes in Talking to Ghosts, a podcast I listen to on the regular, and the new William Control EP is out (The Pale), and that’s kind of always worth celebrating (for some reason there’s nothing on William’s website, but he is all over the instagrams and facebooks).

I went to LA and back, and although we didn’t make a point of catching every band (because we were there for approx 48 hours and wanted to see some of the city, too) playing DB20, we caught bits and pieces of most, and this.. this! Was probably the creepiest, most disconcerting live performance I’ve seen:

 

This clip isn’t from Das Bunker, but please, if you will, imagine a tiny room that is so loud your body vibrates, and all you can see is strobe lights, smoke, and a shadow that seems to exist and not exist all at once, occasionally wielding a chainsaw. For realsies. The shit was bananas.

But we saw VNV, and Covenant and a lot of Daniel Graves, and Continues (which was fantastic) and the Legendary Pink Dots, who were syrupy and moody and embracing and lovely, really, and LA was great and we ate Thai food and walked on the beach and all was good and right  in the world.

And then I came home and was alerted that a market I’d started a short story for way back in May had extended their submission period (I’d given up up on making the original deadline because of all the Pitchwars madness), so in the last 3 days I’ve written about 3.5K, and finished a draft of HAPPILY (n)EVER AFTER, a story about some jerks and some Princesses. So. We will see, but it was fun and it was short and also NOT a novel, so heave-ho and up she rises, I am kind of happy about it.

Then the tv told me S3 of The Fall had started and OMG STELLA GIBSON I LOVE YOU! So that is that.

Now, I am sleepy.

So good night!

well that was just an incredibly long week.

Man. Work is kicking my ass, so writing in most of its forms was sponsored by:

 

But then Saturday morning rolled around and I must have had a good snooze or eaten my wheaties or just been so full o’ words that I finally, finally wrote approx 1500K on the brand new chapter I added to Gingerbread to a) slow down the top end a bit and b) spend more time with the characters before I make their lives shitty. Apparently this is a thing writers are supposed to do. Don’t fret, I’ve only been at this for like 20 years. I’ll get all the tricks down eventually.

Then, I went to Beakerhead, and there were lights and science! and EDM and ROBOTS WITH SMOKE AND FIRE. I’m talking 10 foot robots and they were awesome. I ate mini donuts and caught zero pokemon cuz pokemon? You are on crack. I hatched a 10K egg and it was a stupid as what Jynx (dudes, take a look at that pokemon. Is horrible. And hardly rare. And definitely not appropriate.) But just as i was bitching about that, a magnemite and a jigglypuff showed up so, whatevs. I win you, pokemon. I could rule the world with all the Clefairies I have lying around.

Here’s an awesome thing: Exclaim! is streaming the new Cygnets release, and holy cheesedoodles, it is freaking’ awesome. These boys can just go ahead and take my money. They played one of the early-early opening slots at Terminus a couple of years ago and gah. Hearts ever since.

Yoga today, and it’s yoga for chubby people and it’s awesome. Any physical activity that doesn’t make me feel like a giant ill-formed ball of goop is A+++ in my books, so yes. It helps that it’s next to the bookstore. Today’s haul:

I’ve been eyeballing Wink, Poppy, Midnight since the beginning of time, but then my friend, Leah, extolled virtues on the twitters so I handed over my dollars. More Happy Than Not was just on the list, and I was going to buy it last week, but then bought Monstress instead:

I also realized SAGA VI is out, and OMG. But there’s still the matter of the fact that I haven’t read the last Sex Criminals, either (which is hilarious. It’s not hilarious that I haven’t read it, is just hilarious in general). So. I think I need to dedicate an evening a week to reading or something but man, i need a time expander for all the things I wish to do. I finally broke down and bought a paper agenda thingamajiggy.

(i also bought Labyrinth Lost last week, which looks super fun and yes. So many books, so many hours in the day I spend at my cubile. INSERT SAD FACE HERE).

Okay.  I should get some words in.

I can totally tell I haven’t done yoga in a while. My whole body is like “oh, hai! you have a muscle here. Good job! Weeee”.

(also, trying to align these pictures in this post is making me cranky. go home, wordpress, you’re drunk)