Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blog Post: Breaking In?

Interesting blog post about breaking in to publishing. Makes you think about your current projects. It may be a strong novel, craft and story wise, but is it strong novel in regards to sellability? It seems the advice is to be original, but don't rock the boat--i.e, stand out, not stand up ;-)

But seriously, what does someone who writes weird or unusual do? Look for weird or original novels to compare the novel to. Which I have been doing for the past few days, trying to find a comparison novel. Still looking . . .

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yin / Yang

Maybe it's just the influence of the novel I'm reading, but I'm wondering if I am being pulled to my bee-geisha story because it is sorta yang to EoS's yin. Although, neither is "light", EoS is far more dark than bee-geisha. It may also just be me, needing something a little lighter to work on. But for some reason, they feel as if they have a connection in my mind.

In that novel I'm reading, the concept of laotong is mentioned. "Old same". A sort of kindred spirit. Is that what these novels are? Kindred spirits?

Do you ever get the feeling that some of your characters from different novels would just get along well--or never get along? Oooh, I feel a potential Character Channel session coming on, lol. Channel the both of them, EoS's Jol-Len and bee-geisha's as of yet unnamed MC, and let them sit down and talk together a bit, see what comes of it all :-)

But if I can find out a reason why I feel there is some connection between these two novels of mine, although they are not in the same world or meta-world, maybe I'll better understand why I am writing them, why I am pulled to them both.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Don't you love serendipity? I'm one of those people that believe it is a sign, especially when it relates to writing and creativity.

My bee geisha story originally did not have bees in it, but the story idea started taking off in my imagination when I connected bees to it.

First off, the germ of this idea came from watching Memoirs of a Geisha far too many times. I wanted to write a story involving the same level of details into a cultural subset as the movie/book goes into with geishas. Anyway, that lead to me reviving an old idea about magical living tattoos. Presto, chango. I have combined the two.

The first real bit of serendipity came from an encounter with bees and some later knowledge about them. For some reason we are seeing an increase in bees where I live. In fact, they frequently land on me while I am lounging outside to the point I get fed up and go inside. Next, I read in a book on myths that bees were considered psychopomps in the Greek world--and since my book has one culture as Greek-inspired, the lightbulb went on. My psychopomps in my world for my Greek-like culture are bees. They aren't like butterflies, which are pretty. These hold a bit of apprehension instead, just what I need for my story. That is serendipity #1.

Serendipity #2 came from the fact I got in the mail a catalogue for Daedalus Books for the first time. Inside was this book, A Keeper of Bees: Notes on Hive and Home. Bees play a big role in my story since Serendipity #1 occurred. This book find was fortuitous, because I need research material on bees and I heard good reviews of this book. So, now it is on order.

Let's see how well my serendipity holds--and let's see if I can't find me a nice geisha book to go with it ;-)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Goals for this week? Work on EoS, next chapter.

Not easy. You see, I need an infusion of "stories" every once in a while, or I go crazy. Stories can be tv, books, my own writing, etc. Anything that is creative and not real.

I've been filling up on "stories" by watching first Dead Zone eps, now Lost eps. Not good.

When I do write, however, I keep getting hit by an inspiration-bug, which is dragging me off to my geisha bee project.

So, I'm keeping my goal simple--and no more filling up on books or tv until something is done on EoS. Sweets after the work, until the work becomes the sweet again, as it should be. :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Channel Session 1: Conflict

So, conflict . . . . We all know about conflict in stories, about how important it is. There are tons of articles out there, talking about it.

But you are the one writing the story. So, what do you view as conflict? What kinds do you like? What is the nature of conflict in your story? How does your character view and react to it? Well, let's see.


Osan, from my fantasy novelette, The One Who Sees, faces several conflicts during his story. But the one that he speaks of most strongly to me is not his mission to do what is right by one of the lost souls in his world, or even do what is right by his tribe who is war hungry, it is more personal than that. It goes back to family. It goes back to one thought, that beats like a heart in his head.

My family is dead . . . because of me.

This is painful for him. Although you might, by placing your head to his chest, hear his heart, you can't hear this thought inside him, but you can see it in his actions, see the pain seeping out, see how it is with him in every way. Ask him, and he would go back and change it. Ask him, and he goes back there in his mind anyway. To that day . . .

It was the Fever that came, the Fever struck them, but it was I who let death in to stay. The air blistered, as if on fire. It was everywhere. The fire, in our body, in our breath, in our heads. It made mother, full of life with the sister I am not allowed to remember, call out for Shaman. But it was the sister I am allowed to remember, Oki who lives for she is stronger than me, it was Oki whom my mother thought was coming. Oki, my twin.

And it was my brother, he who was first born and first dead before any of us, he whom I somehow remember, he whom I should not. It was my brother Olas she begged to get Shaman.

I did not get Shaman.

I cannot blame the Fever: I can only blame my fear.

My brother would have done better.

My brother would have saved them all.

It doesn't matter what he remembers, it all the same. He feared the shaman and administered aid to his family on his own.

His sister was not born. The others died. So did his mother and his uncle. This he knows. This he remembers. But most of all, he cannot forget that when he was twelve, three years from being made the man of the family with all the responsibility of taking care of his sisters that entails, he let his fear of the man with the cure defeat him.

He failed his family.


So, what is the nature of the conflict for Osan? It's with himself and the past; it is this failure that beats beneath every bit of his story.

What conflict lies at heart of your story? What conflict lies at the heart of your character?

Clean Up

Been cleaning up my blog of old posts to go with a new focus. I've started another blog, called The Character Channel, where I'll have some fun with my characters and writing in general, especially when I can't actually do any real writing. The idea came from a combination of keeping a character journal and a character in one of my novels-in-progress, who is a channel.

What will be the focus of this blog? News on my writing, research of note, and articles I like. More of the business side of my blog.

That's it. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What Have My Characters Told Me Today

Or rather, yesterday. Well, since I got one of my Aztec reference books in the mail, it made me think more of their writing. How it is more like art. Colorful. Colors will add meaning to words. Jol, my Sin Eater, who records the sins of his commune in a book is going to have to carry artistry tools and so I will have to look more into that aspect, that and the concept that every sin has a specific name.

So basically, he told me it's time to look into Aztec writing and artistry (painting, calligraphy,etc) in general.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

One Who Sees

Well, I got some good news, and much needed it was. It looks like I got an acceptance with Drollerie Press on "The One Who Sees", my novelette. Check them out. The concept behind the publisher is great, and I love the covers.