rflong: (River Bridge)
( Oct. 8th, 2008 06:56 pm)
Lovely surprise in the post box this evening - my contributors copies of Ocean. Absolutely gorgeous magazine. Just beautiful. The pictures are magnificent. I'm delighted to have a story in it.
Quite often I get an idea about something to post here and then by the time I sit down to actually do it I find it has dribbled out of my sieve-like brain, driven away by whatever shiney object recently caught my attention. I remember a time when I had quite a good memory (I think!). I remember making very detailed lists about things. Probably about the same time I used to write out detailed character descriptions and never actually get around to writing their stories down.

I have been working hard recently and I know for a fact that tends to drive everything else out. [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h  is tremendously patient with me because, seriously, sometimes its like early onset Alzheimers (I know, not something to joke about). And the kids... well I think they realise that mummy is a bit of a ditz and if you want something (like food) you really have to keep reminding her until she delivers. Kind of like my own childhood. My mother is an artist and if she went into the studio, unless you could feed yourself, the order of the day was to badger her until she came out. When my father retired they nearly divorced on the first day when he went up to ask if she wanted a cup of tea and then sat there waiting for her to make it! Well, he only did that once.

OMG, I may be turning into my mother...

But seriously, there is this problem sometimes with marrying real life and creativity. In my case, I definitely do hear voices (not in an I see dead people or pass the happy pills kind of way though). Characters become very real and alive to me, especially when I'm as deeply stuck into a novel as I am at the moment. (Just passed the 25k mark last night btw.) It's that point where they start to take on a  life of their own, when they start the "No, actually  I think I'd going to do this instead". J. Michael Straczynski wrote about this some years ago (I think on the lurker's guide to Babylon 5) when he was going to kill of the mad Emperor and had a character & subsequent plot line all lined up to do it. When the time came, however, another character, a most unexpected character, stepped in instead and said "No, actually, this I my role." I remember reading this at the time and it all started to make sense. Since then it has happened to me a number of times. Especially with Moy Tura. Talk about a bunch of characters with minds of their own.

Okay, its very easy to talk about characters like they're demented little demons over whom you have no control, but this for me is the moment when writing really springs to life, where it really becomes fun, no matter how terrifying it is when you realise they've slipped the leash and are off doing their own thing. This is the point where your characters have become real to you, and hopefully to your reader. This is the moment where you know they so well that your subconscious mind starts making connections about their actions that your conscious mind (with its nice neat plot and charts of how the story "should" go) would never do. Its when they become real to you, the author. It's when they almost make you crash the car.

Yes, a number of times these connections have happened when I am driving and that, my friends, is bloody dangerous. I've also missed motorway exits, taken wrong turns and ended up at the supermarket when I was going to someone's house.

I had this discussion elsewhere recently and a couple of people told me this never happened because their characters were fictional and only existed on paper. I have to admit, I found that very sad. I don't really want to write where it means I'm putting name tags on little bodies and pushing them around a prepared board. I love it when they run away. Yes, its scary and I give out. Yes, it can put me off a story for weeks *cough cough Moy Tura cough cough* until I can work out how to adapt to what they've done, but it is the moment of magic for me.

And luckily it seems to be happening more and more.

(actually I don't think I rambled half as much as I expected. But then again, I haven't reread it yet).

OH I remembered - The Wrecker's Daughter, in Ocean Magazine is out. D'oh!  Yes, I'm so good at this promo business.

I just found out last night that my short story about a selkie's daughter "The Wrecker's Daughter" will be appearing in Ocean Magazine's Fall 2008 issue (available from October 2008).


I really really really like this year! Officially.
rflong: (Default)
( Feb. 14th, 2008 10:09 am)
I subbed Puzzlebox and The Wolf's Sister. Pray for an arrow right on target rather than a boomerang effect. :D Fingers crossed.

Now I can start to relax again, I hope. Then again, its me. Maybe I'll start working on a rewrite of Relief Duty. Anyone who read it before would surely love to be catapulted back into the Ayredale Special Collection, a library where the most dangerous things are inside the books.

I think it might be time. And I think I know how to make the story work now. (I hope)

Just put the fact I have two WIPs to finish to one side for a moment, will you?

I also queried on subs for The Wrecker's Daughter (looking good) and The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie (ok). Got responses within the day which was wonderful. They are still circling, looking for a comfy place to land. Fingers crossed again.

Torchwood was good last night, but the end surprised me! 
rflong: (Maggie Cheung Hero)
( Jul. 28th, 2007 09:46 pm)
Looks like I've got a hold on "The Wrecker's Daughter" from Ocean Magazine. SO flippin' excited about this. I hope it doesn't take too long. But hey, I only subbed it yesterday!!! A 1 day hold! I've never heard the like!

Very very happy bunny now.

Oh, and the kitchen photos have got to wait until tomorrow as it isn't finished yet...
rflong: (Default)
( Jul. 27th, 2007 11:22 am)
Right, those two are off again! Now to do something else!

rflong: (Default)
( Jul. 27th, 2007 10:12 am)
Two rejections this morning.

One for The Wrecker's Daughter from Heliotrope (32 days)and one for Come and Play from Wierd Tales (49 days). I think I have another market for The Wrecker's Daughter, a fairly unusual one, but I have to go check out their submission guidelines. Not sure about Come and Play - I have one idea, but want to see if I can pull up anything else first.

Other than that, I have done NO writing thanks to JK Rowling and THAT book. I finished it last night. There were laughs and tears and a certain amount of cheering (in my head). I really enjoyed it. There were one or two spots where it dragged a little, but the main thing that struck me is the vast improvement in her writing over the years. Yes, of course you would expect that, but it was glaringly obvious in this one. What an amazing thing to do though, to have so many people, children and adults gagging to get to the end of the seventh book in a series.

The kitchen is nearly there. Nearly.  We had a couple more hiccups (surprise!). We're trying to work out why everything about this installation has ended up being "non-standard". The cooker went in last night (hurray) and looks wonderful. The oven isn't wired in yet, but the hob is and works. I may yet get my pasta! We're all having a night off tonight and then doing a full day tomorrow. I must take some pictures. I have a couple of befores already. I'll do an "in progress" tonight (if I remember) and an "after" on Saturday evening. We will still have to decorate, of course, but that is to be expected. There is a large hole in one wall exposing the pipes. The electrician took on look at it and said "That was the work of a plumber!". There was also a leak in the bathroom at some point and the ceiling above the cooker is bowed so a panel will have to be replaced. (Yippee!) So, there will be tiling, papering and painting to beat the band going on next week. And I am a painting monster when I get going.

Off to check up on the local DIY shop where I will be spending my lunch hour looking for wall lights. :D

rflong: (Clock)
( Jul. 24th, 2007 12:23 pm)
I'm trying to whip "After 39 days" into shape and trying to discern what is the common procedure for poetry submissions. I'm a fiction girl, always have been, always will be, but poems do tend to find their way out once in a while, and so far their publication rate is much higher than that of my fiction! Go figure.

I did a bit of work on "The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie" last night. I want to get it polished up and out soon. The lack of responses to the pieces I have out is still a niggle, but I figure the best thing I can do is to submit/write more and just keep it all churning away. I think I have found another good market for "The Wrecker's Daughter " if it should come back again.  Fingers crossed it doesn't of course.

So, the main thing that remains with "The Bonny Lass O'Fyvie" is to sort out the whole chemical/mental time travel problem - I think by doing as my husband suggested and tying it in with the traveler's illness. As his body deteriorates, parts of the brain that lay dormant before are activated etc. I'm not entirely sure yet, but I HAVE to work it out. Mainly for the sake of my own sanity. Then I have to make it convincing!

We have three quarters of a kitchen (perhaps a little more) but no cooker yet! Soon, soon... please god soon! Never thought I would get sick of take away. All I want to do at this stage is boil up a big pot of pasta and make tagliatelle d'agusto. That, with some parmesan and a big bottle of wine would go down a treat. That or the chili beef ramen. Yum!

Ah well, maybe tomorrow. I won't get my hopes up for tonight. Oh, the car is in the garage again. Nearly had a heart attack when they told us the engine coil problem wasn't an engine coil problem and could be something more serious and then didn't ring us back all day yesterday! Contact was made, by my husband because I'm a chicken, today and it turns out that the engine coil had in fact gone as we thought but in a new, unexpected and interesting way. Phew! They thought it might have been the head gasket. 

Do I sound like I know what I am talking about?  

Anyway, hopefully I will have my car back tonight or tomorrow morning. Then I have to decide whether to sell it or not! :D  No, really, I love my car but it seems to be spending more time with our mechanic than me at the moment and, frankly, I'm getting jealous.

20 minutes til lunch. I have purposely left HP at home so I will do some work in work. Some...
This time just to the UK tomorrow to stay with family. I'm taking a day to go down to the Friars at Aylesford and see the library there. I'm really looking forward to that.

The quest for "was" continued last night. I'm almost half way through. Problem is I will then have to go back and look for "felt"s and "seem"s and "had"s. Oh joy. This is going to take longer than I thought. But as I started...

Got a very nice rejection on The Wrecker's Daughter from Shimmer, complimentary on the story as a different and welcome take on the selkie legend. I sent is out again to Heliotrope, so we will see how fast they get back to me this time. Last story had a pretty fast turnaround - under a day I seem to remember! :D Still, fingers crossed. I believe strongly in this story and really want to find it a good home.

Why am I referring to my stories more and more like stray cats? Hmmm...

So, still have all the packing to do, and I'm heading downtown at lunchtime to get sterling from the bank, and pick up some other bits and pieces for the trip. We have to pack this evening and work out whether we can take the car seats or not. The cat sitter is calling in the get the keys tonight too. Busy busy busy. Looking forward to it, but probably will look forward to it more once the day is over. 

Not likely to get much writing done tonight, but maybe I can work on the new story and the next chunk of Moy Tura Echoes while I am away.

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 20th, 2007 10:24 am)
Yes. Another one of those days. In about 20 minutes I'm running out of here to see the school Ballet recital. 

No really. With 5 year olds.

Think about that for a moment. Mull it over. Cogitate. Get a really clear mental image of events.

Then there's a concert.

Then lunch.

Then a birthday party.

The things all these items have in common are they are related to my son's social life rather than mine. I am the chauffeur again. :D

Work is a bit mental at the moment but good. Everything else is spiraling ever so slightly out of control between organizing holidays, childcare and bills. Never been our best at that, have we?

Got myself back into Liberty Hall again yesterday. Looking forward to doing some work there. Lots of familiar faces, which was lovely. Then I managed to lock myself out while trying to juggle changing my email address and uploading an av. Clever me! Mike came to my rescue, so I am "Officially no longer a twit!"

He also reminded me of a piece we came up with at Hatrack in a series of fairly insane Shakespearian mails/posts. This started when someone posted a fragment of a letter from Shakespeare seeking sponsorship of the Earl of Southampton (or some such notable) and we turning it into a query letter. I wrote a response. It kicked off from there and much enjoyment was has by all. Well, by Mike and I anyway.  I think everyone else just backed away worriedly.

Anyway, the short version is that we (he) has submitted it on our behalf to Poor Mojo's Almanac(k).  It will be interesting to see what happens.

I subbed The Wrecker's Daughter to Shimmer last night. Finger's crossed.

Better go. I have to buy girlie birthday present wrapping paper on the way to the ballet recital! Heaven help me!



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