Category Archives: Impossible Things

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!

pitchwars bio: scary part one. (not even the scary part)

Hi!

for starters, here’s the link back to all of the fabulous pitchwar participant’s bios. And when is say Fabulous, I mean this kind of Fabulous:

Fabulous-Thor-Meme-Gif

A bit about me: 

I have been writing since the dawn of time (since I’m kind of old, this is almost a true statement). I have always written specfic of some kind or another and didn’t realize until I was well into my thirties (true story),  that I mostly read specfic… I always assumed I just read (wait for it!) Books!

Seriously, it didn’t even dawn on me. Amusingly, my favourite book of all time (meaning childhood-me) isn’t specfic, it’s The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton).  I actually think there should be a club for writers who point to that book as their first source of writing inspiration. We’d easily fill up a sports stadium (go sports!). As an adult, my favourite is The Road (Cormac McCarthy), which can be argued as non-specfic, but it’s mostly dystopic, so I say it fits. It’s ok if you don’t agree. I support.  But even if you are all like “dude, so not specfic”, you can’t argue that this, below, is an outstanding bit of writing:

No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one’s heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes. So, he whispered to the sleeping boy. I have you.

I mean, come on already! gah. Confession time: I like words. My biggest challenge is information delivery: I tend to under-explain and am working on finding the right balance so readers are interested and intrigued, but also not lost in the narrative. I craft a mean sentence.

Me in a nutshell:

  • Luke Skywalker. The Empire Strikes Back
  • X-Files
  • Penny Dreadful (OH VANESSA)
  • In love with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • EBM/Industrial. A smattering of witchhouse, doom/drone and apparently the score to The Last of Us
  • Coffee
  • I have an occasional vampire problem

sexy

  • All of the quizes point to Hufflepuff. I am 100% on board with this

I currently write YA novels and adult short stories. Usually fantasy (urban/real world kind of stuff) or horror.  My most recent short story was published in The Dark.  I’ve had a few others published, mostly back in 1804 (because I’m kind of old, remember?), some of which received honourable mentions in the Years’ Best Fantasy & Horror.  I’ve had the honour of being a CP/Beta reader helper-person for some pretty amazing books. I’m bad with commas. Good with characters.

The novel I’m subbing for pitchwars (Gingerbread) is a loose (as a goose) YA re-imagining of Hansel & Gretel. It’s about Blood cults and nephilim and inspired by the Voynich Manuscript (kind of?). It’s about birthright and protection and loss and sacrifice and flowers and mostly it’s about a brother & sister who went into the woods and into a spooky house and badness ensued. Warning: it kind of has a vampire in it. Fo’shizzle.  But I promise it’s a good thing.

I tend to write books around makeshift families.  In Gingerbread, my main character is in a pretty heavy relationship with her dude bestie, but it’s not romantic. Technically it’s queer-platonic, but as I re-write this draft my MC’s sexual identity is shifting (she’s somewhere in the grey-ace spectrum), so I can’t say for sure what it’ll be at the end. But I can tell you that as of RIGHT NOW:

she won’t get the boy. If she gets anyone it’s a girl. Also there’s no real getting. More like unexpected crush-time. Her name is Douglas.

It’s still not a romance. It’s not even a love story. Do not get your hopes up. :) Unless you count the queerplatonic relationship she’s in with her bi-male-bestie as romantic, WHICH I DO!

In case you’re curious about my writing, I present this gem from when I was in Grade 2:

FullSizeRender

 

Owl friend, way to help your elephant buddy. :)

In summary: I want to write (and read!)  books that remind me of Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap, combined with Leah Bobet’s An Inheritance of Ashes, if you add in three dashes of Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, a heavy helping of Erin Morgentstern’s The Night Circus and pretty much anything found in  Caitlin R. Kiernan’s work.

I don’t always remember what books were about, but I always remember how they made me feel.

lovelyday

Thanks for reading!

here’s some stuff re: stuff

I feel like I have been up to a million things of late, so the rundown.

I went to TERMINUS, our local industrial/dark music festival. I loved it. Have some Hello Moth, who is lovely and may change your mind about just who gets invited to play at an industrial festival. I wrote an article covering the festival, published over at COMA music magazine.  I’m headed to Coldwaves in Chicago at the end of September, and may do some work on their media as well.

I started going to spin class, and today my calves hurt. I started floating, as in isolation-bobbing in a tub of epsom salts floating and discovered 90 minutes of forced relaxation is kind of amazing. I bought a bed, because Dan Savage said I should.  It’s amazing.  I’ve been doing a bunch to fix my chronic pain issues,  which is exhausting and also expensive – I used up all my work bennies, which super sucks because paramedical stuff ain’t cheap, yo’, but I’m hoping it helps.

I’m still editing the novel, I had a unrelated to the chronic pain medical thing going on which, I realize in retrospect, destroyed my focus, and now my little boat is just trying to get back to shore, but the novel waits and I’ll get back to it. I can see land in the distance, anyway.

I have been submitting short fiction, and doing my best not to let rejection get me down. It doesn’t, really. Except a tiny bit, like “oh, damn”, big-sigh for effect and all that.

I watched Ex Machina this weekend, which I loved (no one told me it was also a horror movie), and organized all of the things in two different households. I recently decided I wanted to spiff up t-shirts with peter-pan collars, so went to ye olde internet and figured out how to make them, and have made two, now, and one bracelet and I’m all about the sewing machine at the ‘mo. Maybe when the light’s better I’ll take a photo for posterity.

Otherwise? I’m just doing the stuff that I do. It’s good over here :)

 

A number of Impossible Things

  • I saw Mad Max: Fury Road. Twice. First time regular-D, second time fancy-D because there were no theatres showing it in regular-D at a reasonable time.  As in, any time that wasn’t 4pm. THE HELL. I am no fan of fancy-D, and am SO glad I saw the film the first time in regular-D. I loved it. I loved Charlize and her band of strong, capable women. I loved Max and his understanding that survival means putting your ego aside sometimes. I loved the human-sand-dune scene and the sound editing and  I’m super excited to talk about it on the podcast Kristine and I do!
  • A person vital (in a good way)  to my complex, messy, painful,  childhood (you’d think you’d get to grow out of that, but adulthood is just as weird + rough sometimes and I would occasionally like to trade myself in for a slightly different model, one who is better at navigating the topsy-turvy of the inside of her brain), is the poet laureate for Victoria, BC (I am just so proud of her!) and she wrote a poem that references childhood, and us, and you should go read it. I will wait here. Remember: there are always bits of sunlight peeking through the clouds.
  • Ian Curtis died 35 years ago. I didn’t know him, of him, when I was 8, but 5, 6 years later I came to New Order, and the rest is, as the kids say, history. (True Fax: the kids never say the things I claim they did. I’m just tricky like that)
  • I caved and bought a e-reader, the Kobo Aura H20 because I am buying books like a magpie, and running out of bookshelves, and I don’t really want to have to move all the books when the day comes that I decide to move (I also can’t stand reading on my ipad). That doesn’t mean I won’t buy paper books – I have 3 in my Chapters/Indigo cart right now – but that’s because 2 aren’t in ebook, and the third was there b/c free shipping! But, oh, math tells me I can get free shipping on the other two alone *deletes*
  • I am still working on The Light’s Gone Out, Say Goodnight, which has been rejected 3 times, twice for the EXACT same reason. Once is an opinion, twice starts to look a bit like fact. So. I sent it off to another intrepid reader (Jamie) for yet another opinion (my first reader, my T (Karin)  had already helped improve it, as she always does, but needed fresh-eyes), and so I got good advice back and then, a third person (Bear) posted this to her blog:

My earliest decent short stories were all around 1500-3000 words. It wasn’t until I learned to unpack those, to get the interesting bits out of my head and trust that I wasn’t going to make them boring by explaining them, to write them at 5000-7000 words for the same sorts of ideas, that they started selling well and attracting positive comment.

It seems I’ve read 3 things similar to that this week, and finally, I think, after all of this time it might, might be settling in.  I’m not good at unpacking stories. I read my first cozy mystery (Kate Carlisle’s “A High-End Finish) and figured out who the killer was about midway. That NEVER happens. Usually I’m like, oh, hi, because I’m more caught up in mood and character than plot. But mood + character are a niche market if one wants to go anywhere with one’s literary aspirations. I know this and stuff, but knowing and doing are so not the same. Sometimes I read stories, acclaimed stories, and I’m all OMG ENOUGH WITH THE SPOON FEEDING ALREADY, but I feel so alone in this, like a little sproutling waving back and forth in a swift breeze.

I am many things, but I feel my ability to string words together in an unusual, pretty, slightly creepy way i what will ensure my work is never boring.  I think. Hope. Or something.

  • Went to the new hip wafflrey, Buttermilk. It was delicious, if not judicious with the toppings. At the Waffle Window, which if you know me, you have heard me talk about more than about fifty times, everything is piled high and glorious.  Buttermilk’s waffles are regular buttermilk waffles, delicious and billowy and crispy, and certainly worth standing in line for (the line, oh, she was long. Always go places the third day they open. Ha), and I know I will be back.
  • Because it’s may long, the official time in our part of canadaland you can even think about putting flowers out, I repotted my mini roses and the white fluffy flowers whose name I do not know into my planter. I swept the steps and gathered some leaves out, and the old mayor came by (he was handing out leaflets, I don’t really know the old mayor) and when he introduced himself i said OH! HI! Like we were long lost pals and he looked so confused for a second, but no worries, he recovered. It made me giggle.
  • Watched the whole of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt DAMNIT) because was tired of watching TV in which everyone died all of the time. It made me laugh. Then proceeded to start to watch Wayward Pines, the show in which we learn Matt Dillon has not aged. Also, how nice it is to see Matt Dillon again.  Yes, there are dead people, but at least it’s creepy. We’ll see how it lasts over the next 9 episodes. Also! The internet is damn mad at GoT today. I was almost, almost bored of it last season (like 92% bored of it), but now I might just be done, Tyrion Lannister or no. I can just go watch the Station Agent instead.  Also, iZombie is freaking adorable.

I think that’s it, this week is busy with all sorts of stuff, but today is a day of Holiday-ing and I should not waste it.  Aurevoir, mes amises!