my YA paranormal twisted fairy tale May Queen has started talking to me again.

I'm going through it a bit at a time. I think I know where it went wrong before, which is good. And it needs to be a tighter story than I thought - not so long. But as its YA that's okay, isn't it? At least I think so.

Nice to be doing this one again. I like the characters and I did a lot of research for it which is all coming back delightfully.

So... yay! I think...
rflong: (Dogmatix)
( May. 4th, 2009 10:30 pm)

Well, I'm kind of in shock. I've just finished writing Moy Tura Echoes, all 95k of it. And its only taken 3 years (on and off).

Seriously, I think I am in shock. I thought I'd be excited, delighted, over the moon or something. Instead I'm just... not.

Maybe the joy will hit tomorrow. Maybe I know how much work I have ahead of me to whip it into shape.

But in the meantime. OMG. I'm finished.

Off to bed to collapse in exhaustion...
rflong: (Buggre alle this...)
( May. 3rd, 2009 10:44 pm)
Here we are a couple of days into May and we're having great and productive fun at Romance Divas with MayNoWriMo. I'm working on finishing Moy Tura Echoes and I'm a hair's breadth from the end. Unfortunately the end keeps moving. I was aiming for 90k, but I'm now at 91k and still going. Especially as the characters have just changed the end. Or at least part of it. They tend to do that.

Particularly these characters.

So hopefully tomorrow. Hopefully. I really want it finished now. Pretty please?

I'm on a great team though, with loads of hard work being done. Yes, we're largely making things up as we go along (what's new, huh?) and that's part of why I'm enjoying it I think.

Here an excerpt detailing where it all went haywire this evening...

She didnt even cry out when his sword went right through her.

Hell in a handbag!

Originally published at R. F. Long.

Fascinating talk by Elizabeth Gilbert

Go and watch - she has a lot to say that makes a lot of sense.

But it does leave me with one question - the burning question... )

rflong: (Dogmatix)
( Apr. 24th, 2009 09:42 am)
I suddenly seem to have acquired a lot of To Do's

1) finish Moy Tura Echoes. I mean c'mon I'm under 10k from the end. That should be easy, right? RIGHT? Unfortunately got home last night and I don't know if it was hayfever or a cold but I collapsed and barely managed a bit of editing on something else.

2) polish, synopsise and sub the near future SF novella the alter-ego wrote.

3) Re-mend the patches on my daughter's trousers. Again.

4) Start the necklace I've been meaning to make for ages.

5) Finish the blinds for the conservatory.

6) STOP thinking about the new Shiny YA idea, at least until I have finished the other two things.

7) Oh, and the alter-ego has a novel to write as well.

8) There was an 8 but I've forgotten it. this is a large part of the problem of course.

9) Short stories for anthologies. I've a whole list of them. Need to get writing. Oh wait. See previous entries in teh list that concern writing.

10) Stop worrying about the submissions I have out because I really cant do anything about them anyway.

11) No really. Stop. And stop checking the email as well.

12) Write some decent blog posts.

13) Start writing The Wolf's Destiny. Em.. this should probably be further up the list, shouldn't it? Maybe this was acually 8.

14) Work. While at work. Like em... I should...
rflong: (Iz You Drunk Again?)
( Feb. 28th, 2009 10:31 am)
When you have a book launch you celebrate. We were given a lovely bottle of champagne.

When you have a book launch on Pancake day, you have pancakes.

Warning: trying to make said pancakes after drinking said champagne does not result in perfect crepe-like pancakes.

At All.

But it does result in giggles.

The kids, of course, wanted pancakes for tea, which they got and I put the rest of the mixture in the fridge with the champagne - for later. Ah yes, magic words. Kids went to bed. I chatted to people online, had dinner, drank half the bottle of champagne (hey, I had to share it with [ profile] e_w_h ) and then, at about 11pm we went... Mmmm pancakes...

Well, they were Mmmm.

In other news, if you're not sick of the "Me me me" yet (of course you're not. Don't even think such a thing!) there's an interview up on Amused Authors in which I whitter on talk about writing, inspiration, and why I write fantasy.

rflong: (Joy)
( Jan. 10th, 2009 11:02 pm)

x 3

1. I have a 35k manuscript.

2. I wrote 5718 words today.

3. I'm finished The Wolf's Mate!!!!!!!!!

I was wrong.

Today I wrote.

Happy, happy thing!
I'm doing some final edits for The Scroll Thief at the mo'. Well, not actually at the mo' you understand, but in general. These came about because my editor suggested to the Executive editor that she read the book, and editors being editors...

Not that I mind. The amusing part really is that a section which was taken out, then put back in, has now been taken out again. It's one of "those". So now its gone, or at least mostly gone as parts of it have been spread over other parts of the book. But it's mostly gone. I seem to have an obsession with the word "Then" which I never noticed before, so the "Then" have also been expunged. I'm almost done. I hope. Until next time.... no, seriously. I'm almost done!

Then I have the sequel to The Wolf's Sister to do - The Wolf's Mate. I actually have a chunk of this written so hopefully it won't take too long. This is not my problem.

Oh no. The problem IS that [ profile] e_w_h  told me about a dream he had the other night and then the plot bunnies got to work and I now have the makings of a space opera/dystopian SF epic* running around my head. Where I honestly don't want it to be right at this moment in time. Last time this happened (as you may recall) my alter-ego had to write a 90k novel in about 6 weeks. It's not on, I'm telling you! I can't do it now. I have other things to finish! And I may just die of exhaustion.

Out, out damn plot bunnies.

Good God, first its Spanish vampires, then its demons angels and psychics, and now it's resistence movements, underground railroads and totalitarian dictatorships! And wiped memories, resistence leaders, undercover operatives, lost lovers, love triangles, drug related counter intelligence, even perky teenagers....

Help me, help me!

Plotbunnies are BAD.


*Even more amusing in that apart from the "epic" bit, I DONT WRITE THESE SORT OF STORIES....

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. [ 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.

Please join us at Romance Divas THIS WEEKEND!

Friday October 10th and Saturday October 11th, we will be joined by some huge names in fantasy and fantasy-romance for a workshop on what the difference really is between the two genres.

rflong: (Default)
( Sep. 26th, 2008 12:16 pm)
And wrote 2500 words of the new Urban Fantasy last night for the alter-ego (as it could get a bit... em... y'know). I blame the characters. I totally blame the characters.

And 183 words of Moy Tura. Ditto!

rflong: (Plotbunny)
( Sep. 25th, 2008 02:50 pm)
I have to finish the novel I am writing, and the two novellas that follow The Wolf's Sister BEFORE I can start something new.

Out, out damn plotbunnies!!!!!!!!!!!

Just because I have just written out the entire plot of an Urban Fantasy does NOT mean I can write it yet. Aarrggghhhhh!!!
rflong: (Default)
( Sep. 18th, 2008 11:34 am)
I wrote a little over a thousand words on Moy Tura Echoes yesterday which came as both a surprise and a shock. Shock because of the scene I wrote in which some VERY bad things happen to a very nice person. VERY VERY bad things.

I wonder if this is the reason that I couldn't get past this stage for so long. I suspect that I didn't want to write the bad things because I like the character so much. Now that its done the ideas are leaping around, the scenes are playing out like movies in my head and for the moment at least I know exactly where I am going and most of the words that will get me there. Sadly it has taken most of the summer to get here. I've concentrated on other things but this is the one that I really want to get finished so its a fantastic breakthrough. Now if only I wasn't at work and had time to write! :D

Inspirations are funny things. I'm not a great believer in "the muse". I think there definitely is one, but quite frankly, if something isn't working I don't have the time to flop around on the chaise longe with hand to forehead going "oh woe is me, my muse hath deserted me". I move on to something else and let the one with the problem sit and stew. I work full time, I have two kids, my days are FULL. Writing doesnt' take second place, but it has to understand the priorities of life.

But inspiration can strike at any time and in any place. I saw two crows the other day outside the shop, probably looking for nesting materials. One of them picked up what looked like a large A4 sheet of paper or card and flew off with it in its beak. *Bang* Morgan has an affinity with crows of course so therefore...

Or take these two vids. I'd never come across them before although I know the fiddler Mairead Nesbitt from other performances and the song The Voice is wonderful. But I watched them both last night and the two slotted together and off went the plot bunnies. This isn't part of Moy Tura Echoes, although it could be, but Moy Tura Echoes doesn't need any added complications at the moment. It adds them itself. No, these are for something else. Not sure what yet.

But look at Mairead Nesbitt's face as she place AND dances (at the same time if you don't mind. There's a word for people like that. I can't say it here). And listen to Lisa Kelly sing that wonderful and haunting anthemn. And then tell me what stories they conjure up for you

Granuaile's Dance:

The Voice:
rflong: (The Wolf's Sister)
( Sep. 15th, 2008 12:02 pm)
Things I have discovered this morning: Vistaprint does not make things easy for anyone.


Great weekend

I met a writing friend in Dublin on Saturday at the wonderful Epicurean Food Hall. We had hot chocolate and talked for almost 2 hours! My throat was sore when I got home so I have a suspicion as to who did most of the talking! :D

On Sunday we took the kids to see Swan Lake at the National Concert Hall, performed by the Russian National Ballet. Wonderful production! E_W_H won tickets on the radio. These were central seats in the front row of the balcony. We chanced our arm and all went in, managing to pick up two additional seats which were more or less the front of the stalls, almost central. Armed with a normally talkative child each we split up. I took the beloved son up to the balcony while E_W_H and darling daughter took the stalls. I have to say watching a ballet with an almost 7 year old boy is interesting. I answered lots of questions, such as the usual "Who's he?" and "Why's he doing that?" to the more esoteric "Why aren't they talking?" and my favorite "Why is everyone dancing?!"

Hissing "Because its a ballet!" at him got me a very funny look.


I did a little work on The Wolf's Mate but I am trying to take a bit of a break this week because
(a) I finished the edits for The Scroll Thief and felt like my brain had been fried
(b) my CP Elaina (*waves*) is currently in nightmare edits trying to get a requested ms out to an agent when the characters keep changing the end on her so I'm trying to help on that
and (c) I got The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay on Saturday - the only book that could make me put aside Marion Meade's biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine, if only temporarily. Seriously, both are wonderful books. I normally find biographies very dry (prefer autobiographies) but Meade makes Eleanor and her world come to sparkling life. Her descriptions of processions, banquets and battles are fabulous. But GGK is GGK and after reading the Fionavar Tapestry within a week I am Hooked (yes, with a capital H)

That said I have been scribbling away longhand and Shan and Jeren have reached their first black moment. The first of many I fear. My concern with this story is that it is potentially more her story than his and I don't want to see him relegated to standing around in the background (impressive though his pecs may be). There needs to be a balance. Also at the moment there is far too much standing around talking.

A couple of Moy Tura ideas have started to percolate again, so I hope soon to write some more there as well. But I dont want to push it and have the characters clam up on me again. They're stubborn that way.

eta: I updated the book trailer to include the cover and various helpful suggestions. Almost forgot to embed it!
rflong: (Sive)
( Jul. 20th, 2008 09:56 am)
I am currently working on a new novella.

But not the one I am supposed to be working on!


And I saw Mama Mia with the girls last night, also catching up on much gossip and getting a promise of duck and partrige from E's boyfriend. Yay! Oh yeah, I enjoyed the film too. Laughed and laughed, especially at the end. If you haven't seen it stay for the credits. Really.

Is it worrying that the prospect of roast duck gets me all excited though?

Anyway, back to reality as the kids need feeding. Again. *sigh*
rflong: (Maggie Cheung Hero)
( Jul. 13th, 2008 10:50 am)
Well, actually the round 2 edits on The Wolf's Sister have already gone back which is cool and really really scary. There wasn't very much the second time around. A couple of things we'd missed and one or two caused by the first round edits. But I got the whole lot done in one sitting which stunned me.

So now I'm at a bit of a loss. I have things to do but I'm a bit bewildered and not quite sure which to plunge into next.

I did write a little of The Wolf's Mate last night though. That's something.

And I have two crits to finish today. Um-hummmm.... better make that a priority this evening! :D

Think we're going to the National Garden Exhibition Centre later on. It would be nice to get out for a walk too. But now the laundry needs to be put away.

ah, the glamour!
rflong: (Camberwick Sam)
( Jul. 11th, 2008 06:12 pm)
Hi all

just wanted to let you know that I am still here! :D I've been madly busy at work and have been exhausted in the evenings. And lazy. And easily distracted by a combination of the Internet and the Discovery Channel.

And the oddly (and unexpectedly) compelling film 9 songs. Although there was an element of "what are they doing now?" "Having sex again" "Oh. Again? What's the next band?" "Super furry animals/Franz Ferdinand/Primal Scream" "Great! I love them!"

So I haven't been writing. This is BAD and I hope to remedy it as soon as someone gives me an appropriate kick in the butt.

I have the following waiting to be done:

The sequel to The Wolf's Sister, The Wolf's Mate. (novella)

The last 3rd of Moy Tura Echoes.

And several assorted random ideas - mainly novels which I haven't got time to write just yet.

And I have to come up with a Morrigan story soon or [personal profile] theladywolf will kill me when she gets back. Eek!
Some more Moy Tura hit the laptop and went splat all over the place. 2,379 words to be exact. The rest of the chapter I didn't want to finish -- the unpleasant part. And the start of the next chapter.

today's word count: 2379
total word count: 50812

This has brought me up to about 269 pages (I think) and I appear to be on the downhill roll now (spot the words liable to completely knacker any further progress).

I know where we're going. I just have to get us there. *sigh*

No other news. Children have not assaulted anyone. Bought a barbeque which we now have to construct. I expect we'll have it done just as the fine weather goes away. :D

Speaking of the weather, I'm looking out the window here and trying to devise ways of escaping without being noticed. It is just glorious -- birds singing, sun shining, the breeze moving gently through the leaves of the enormous horse chestnut on the far side of the field. And an enormous pile of books to catalogue on my desk. I seriously need to investigate ways of remote cataloguing. It has to be possible!!!

Ticking along.


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