Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives

November 2008 Archives

NaNoWriMo update: FINISHED!


I have no illusions about the quality of those 50,000+ words, but just being able to bang out a first draft of the follow-up to Bones of the Angel feels great. The new book feels very much like the Empire Strikes Back of the series so far because this is the book where everything we thought we knew at the end of the first book is turned on its head, things go absolutely crazy for pretty much the whole book and then it ends on, if not a cliffhanger, then in a sort of "in transit" moment. Not everyone makes it out alive, some of the characters might wish they weren't alive, and things are very much now up in the air with a number of my characters – because they're growing and changing, which is what is supposed to be happening with characters as these books continue. I have a nasty feeling that some people who read my stuff aren't going to be terribly thrilled with what's happened to a couple of people, but that's okay: I already have an idea about how the third book, The Wild Hunt, will begin. I might hold off on starting in on that one until I can get some professional interest on these first two, but man does it feel good to just be writing again, to find out that I haven't lost my touch.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Woo-hoo!


The lovely language of the New York Times.

Now I'm a big fan of the gray lady, and I'm also a big fan of long, complicated sentences, but Manohla Dargis should be taken aside and given a strict talking-to for this doozy in today's review of Baz Luhrmann's Australia:

Though "Australia" is narrated by a young boy of mixed race, Nullah (the newcomer Brandon Walters), the illegitimate son of an Aboriginal mother and a white father, who is trying to escape the authorities, and while it opens in 1939, shortly before World War II blasted Australian shores, the film isn't a bummer.

My mother always taught me that, while complexity can be a good thing, the most critical aspect of writing is to not jar the reader out of their flow and make them back up to reread a sentence. I was quite happily zipping along this review until I hit that number, and though I can parse it quite clearly now, I had to reread it twice to figure it out. Yeesh.

NaNoWriMo update: slightly less screwed.

After a hu-u-u-u-uge push tonight, I've managed to get my NaNoWriMo novel more or less back on track. Still a ways to go yet in too little time, and good Lord why won't the NaNo system update its tracker already, but I'm now at 41,355 words where I was at 36,764 when I woke up this morning. For the mathematically challenged, that's a gain of 4,591 words. As a great cyborg detective once said, wowsers!

Can't quit yet, though - I still have 8,645 words to go, but I'm feeling much more confident now that it might be doable after all. Woo-hoo!

Also, on a side note, old SXSW friends should be sure to wish our not-old friend Molly a very happy birthday today. She's just dinged 37 (insert inappropriate Kevin Smith joke here) and is still showing us how to rock academia in your thirties. This is especially appreciated in my own personal camp, as I also spent a small chunk of time today revisiting the Ph.D. problem. Long story short, when I do get to be Dr. Long, I may very well be about the same age. So you go girl – thanks for being so awesome!


NaNoWriMo update: I'm so screwed.

Here's a tip: if one is considering doing NaNoWriMo, there are a number of dumb things you can do. The first is attempting to do DrawMo at the same time, although that's really not that big a deal at all, especially for those of us who think in pictures as well as in words. No, the really dumb thing to do is to attend a conference near the end of the month, especially one as awesome as Futures of Entertainment, because that will suck up not only your time, but also your brain cells. Placing any remaining neurons in the service of a journal for which you are doing some guest editor-type of work is also a bad idea, and following that combo up with another dose of intellectual awesome in the form of a lecture/workshop on transmedia and adaptation from 7-10 on the Monday night immediately afterwards means that your Tuesday morning writing time is completely blown out with fatigued bleary blinking at the monitors and saying blirf? Blorg? Bleeeahhhh.

So, yes. Blirf. Blorg. And most definitely bleeeahhhh.


NaNoWriMo Update: a preview.

"Here we are," Michael said in a low voice as we filed out of the tunnel and gathered around him, all of our necks craning as we stared up, up and further up. The tunnel must have led us into the mountains, all right - because right then and there we sure seemed to be inside of one. The chamber we were in was massive, easily ten times the size of the cavern outside of the catacombs, but that wasn't the most impressive part. What really took my breath away, what was so completely unreal, was what was set into the stone. Spread out above us, branching through the cavern and running through the solid rock were roots, huge towering root structures the size of redwood trunks, easily thirty feet across. They spiraled through the chamber as it stretched up into darkness overhead, leapt across the space like footbridges, and crisscrossed back and forth to a main, towering taproot that stretched up from the center of the chamber like nothing so much as Rapunzel's tower. And the icing on the cake? The bit that really sent my mind over the edge? Carved into the roots were windows, tiny little portholes rimmed with wood and stone edgings and composed of intricate quilts of stained glass panes - and the windows were lit. The result was a beautiful patchwork rainbow of color that bathed the chamber with a warm, beautiful light.

"It's the root of the world," Simon said quietly. "Michael. You found the root of the world."

(from my NaNoWriMo novel, Children of Winter, Children of Wolves)

Live-tweeting Futures of Entertainment 3.
A quick note: people interested in following C3's Futures of Entertainment 3 conference in real time should hop on Twitter and follow There's a whole mess of current students, alums, consulting researchers, partners and interesting folks twittering away over there. Those of you who are physically camped out here in the Bartos Theater at MIT with us, be sure to check out our setup for realtime feedback and questions at
Pondering the Futures of Entertainment for a third time.

I am currently camping out at the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium's Futures of Entertainment 3 conference, and live-tweeting it at Come follow along!


Upcoming appearances.

Adding further fuel to the tempestuous insanity that has been this week, I've had two somewhat interconnected papers accepted to two more conferences coming up this spring! First is the 2009 American Comparative Literature Association Conference, which takes place at Harvard March 26-29. This overlaps a bit with the tail end of the 2009 Game Developers Conference, so I'll take off from that a little early to make it back for ACLA.

Second is the Fairy Tale After Angela Carter conference at the University of East Anglia in England, which is going on April 22-25. The eagle-eyed among you will notice that this also has an overlap, with MIT6 (April 24-26), so I'm planning on taking off from the Fairy Tale conference early so I can catch the latter half of MIT6. Good grief – literally!

What's fun about these is that the first paper, for ACLA, is titled "From Horrorism to Terrorism: the New Weird, the New Horror and the War on Terror", and the second one is titled "Fairy Tales in the New Weird, the New Horror and the War on Terror". If anyone out there is concerned about self-plagiarism, don't be – they're two separate papers with a shared core body of reference research, where the first one will describe how the New Weird and the New Horror have emerged out of a post-9/11 cultural mentality, and the second will sketch out the basics from the first paper and then drill down into how new fairy tales like Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth fit specifically into that framework. Now I'm wondering what I could do to shift the titles around a bit before final publication to show that they're linked, but separate. Hmmm...

Links list: 11-18-08.

I am having one of those days where my brain is being pulled a thousand different ways at once. Hence, a links list post.

First the stories closest to home:

And then further afield:


NaNoWriMo update: Yay Ugh Yay Ugh.

A bit of a hiccup in my NaNoWriMo scribblings, due to this turning out to be an incredibly tempestuous week (and it's only Tuesday). Big news is breaking here in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT, which I'll link to as soon as it is officially announced... And now the cat is out of the bag: Henry Jenkins III, my friend and mentor and advisor and academic hero, is leaving MIT for USC. After that announcement, suffice it to say that I didn't feel much like writing yesterday.

Oh, I still banged out about 500 words, but that didn't happen until after midnight, and the scene that resulted is likely to be the first thing that I've ever written that I may wind up self-censoring out of a project. Most of the evening yesterday was devoured by a freelance consulting project I'm working on, for which I've been mucking about in the wonderful and woolly world of online video, so between that and the weird vibes here at the office, yesterday was a wash for NaNo'ing.

Today, however, has been an altogether different kettle of fish. I woke up with a little click in the back of my head, and like the tumblers in a lock, several very important pieces fell into place for the story. I realized that something I'd put in as more or less a throwaway concept was actually the cleverly-disguised key to making the third act work and giving my protagonists a way to defeat the villains, which is awesome, and that I suddenly had a very strong idea about how Children of Winter, Children of Wolves will end, and I even had an idea about what the main plot of the third book, tentatively titled The Wild Hunt, will be and how it will unfold – and until this morning I didn't even know that there was a third book in the wings. That was fantastic all on its own...

And then I checked my e-mail.

This morning a press release went out announcing the Media Lab's new Center for Future Storytelling. Just like that, my various plans and schemes for possible directions for my Ph.D research were completely upended, like that scene in Ghostbusters: "The flowers are still standing!" There's also a write-up in the New York Times under the title "Saving the Story (the Film Version)", but there's very little additional content about the actual 'labette' than in the original press release. Believe me, I'm watching this with both eyes. The best thing about this possibility to my mind so far is that it won't officially launch until 2010, which gives me a year to get certain other massive projects done or well underway, but, as always, we'll see what happens...

Plus, now USC has a very definite allure for obvious reasons! So now I have multiple programs that could provide a great home for my Ph.D research whereas before this last year I was still wandering in the desert. The Media Lab, USC, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Queensland, Madison... Dang!

So, yes. Wild, crazy times – and the week's just started. Heaven only knows what will come of the Futures of Entertainment 3 Conference coming up this weekend, aside from getting to see some friends absent too long... But I do realize that this means I have to get some serious writing stockpiled before Friday morning!


NaNoWriMo update: 30,185.

Only 11 words shy of another 3,000 words banged out this morning means that I've tipped over the 30,000 word mark, and am now over 3/5ths of the way to being done. Woo-hoo! I'm acutely aware that the majority of the book so far has been dialogue with a couple of action scenes thrown in, and I definitely need to work on that, but maybe I can make the entire third act an extended case of the fit hitting the shan, so to speak. Which actually brings up something else – in this one, I've been taking careful measures to have my characters swear off-stage, by which I mean using the phrase "I swore" instead of the actual curse words. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, or maybe it's because of my recent research into negative capability, or maybe it's because when and if I do try to get this published I'm aware that it might be best targeted at a young adult audience – or at the very least, shouldn't exclude that audience due to something as arbitrary as foul language.

Best of all, I'm finally getting to introduce a character that I invented over a year ago in Frank Espinosa's class. This book has now officially given me space to trot out three of the characters that have been rattling around in my head for way too long now – and it's terrific getting to see what they actually do when placed on stage instead of being all cooped up in my notebooks and gray matter.

Also, Laura's been awesome throughout this entire project, completely supportive and curious about what happens next, and has largely left me alone when I need to be banging away at the keyboard, which as any author knows is amazingly endearing. Further, she's also using the time to create herself, and is currently in the middle of a Munny version of Captain Jack Sparrow that will blow your hair back.

Right. Now the lady and I are headed off to catch a celebratory matinee of Quantum of Solace and perhaps pick up a (very) early Christmas present for me, and then after that it's back to the grind on a freelance project and some other writing... Now rest for the wicked, hey?

Today's high point of the work-in-progress: an extended flashback scene that describes the actions of a Wolf Child during the Nazi occupation of Romania during World War II. Anyone who reads this will be able to see my Mignola fanboyhood painted with big, broad strokes, but it's still an incredibly fun thing to see unfold on the page!


NaNoWriMo update: 27,196.

Despite having come down with the plague that's been going around the lab, this evening I successfully cleared the halfway mark for NaNoWriMo with room to spare. Yesterday I turned in 2,446 words and today I turned in another 3,540 to bring me up to 27,196. I need to be stockpiling some for next weekend, since I'm going to be booked almost completely with the Futures of Entertainment conference, but right now I'm feeling pretty good about things. I'm acutely aware that the novel so far is really dialogue-heavy and needs some more action-y setpieces, but the couple that I have in so far (especially the two chase scenes) I'm pretty proud of. This evening I had another one of those wonderful "Ah, so that's why I wrote that fifty pages ago!" moments, which are always fun – they're like little reassuring messages from your creative subconscious that say "Relax, I really do know what I'm doing here".

Nothing new to report on DrawMo, alas – maybe I'll have some catch-up stuff done tomorrow. For now, to sleep, perchance to dream... And get back up again tomorrow to hit this project again before tucking into some freelance work and some academic writing. Onward!

PS: So far the biggest concern that I had about BotA is finally being addressed in CoW² (which, by the by, is a greatly preferable shorthand for the title in my mind than CoW, CoW or CoWCoW) – the main characters are really taking on differentiated personalities. Callie always stood on her own, ever since she first showed up on the page (and in so doing completely obliterated my early character sketch in which Caliban Davies was a seventy-year-old man) but Michael and Pi kind of blurred together a little more than I was comfortable with in the first one and Vicky all too often stumbled into 'damsel in distress' mode, which was, well, distressing. In this one Pi is a lot more well-defined, and Michael (what little of the book he's in so far) is coming into his own too. Vicky still needs some tightening, character mechanics-wise, but we'll see. Part of the trouble there is that she still hasn't completely found her voice in my head so she's still a little too one-dimensional, but I suspect she'll get there soon enough. I hope.


DrawMo and NaNoWriMo updates: 23,656

The steady march to 50,000 words nears the halfway point, as I hit 23,656 words this morning. I elected not to attend the Simon Winchester lecture last night after all due to feeling a little under the weather, so I used the time instead to get a mess of work done on both this and a number of other projects (including some editorial work I'm doing for the Journal of Transformative Works and Cultures, which is taking me back to my Inkblots glory days. I also uploaded DrawMo entries for November 12th and November 13th – the one from the 13th is probably my favorite so far because it's the first time I've successfully done a cartoon of a cat that I'm really happy with. (Thanks for modeling, Albus.)

I am, however, slightly annoyed with how NaNoWriMo is suffering from its own success. Although I made sure to update my word count last night before midnight, it didn't count it until today, which means that the little widget on the side of my blog there has yesterday marked down in red, which it shouldn't have done. Also annoying is the fact that since I didn't start entering word counts until the 10th, and since the system automatically ignores outlier numbers, the report card page that they have set up for each author has my average word count at around 91 words a page, which is obviously bunk. For the curious, 23,656 divided by 14 is 1,690, rounded up - so that statistic is only around 1,600 words off!


Links list: 11-12-08.

Yeah, these are sort of out of date, but they're still worth checking out.

DrawMo and NaNoWriMo updates: 19,629.

First of all, I've just uploaded a mess of illustrations from the last 10 days or so to my Flickr account as part of my DrawMo 2008 experiment. I cheated a little by doing three drawings yesterday to make up for missing two days before (shhh, don't tell). Mostly they're influenced by my recent obsession with Mike Mignola and Guillermo del Toro, especially the ones I did last night while watching the special features on the Hellboy II Blu-Ray discs with Laura, but there's a couple character sketches of the new blood from Children of Winter, Children of Wolves in there as well, including this guy:

Carson Reilly

Does he look like trouble to you?

That brings me to my NaNoWriMo update. Although I fell short yesterday thanks to the siren song of the long-awaited and aforementioned Hellboy II Blu-Ray release, as well as last night's episodes of House and Fringe, I woke up early this morning to bang out an additional 2,265 words in the form of a chapter wherein a college professor meets a grisly end. Mwa ha ha. Hopefully I can tuck back into it again tonight, because tomorrow night I have a lecture to attend (Simon Winchester on the OED, woo-hoo!) and Friday night is Quantum of Solace, which I am well and truly geeked out about.

It has just occurred to me that I should probably apologize to any readers out there who follow this blog for deep, insightful intellectual observations, but then again, if you know me then none of this recent geekery should come as a surprise. As Heath Ledger's Joker said, "It's all part of the plan."

See? Even my apologies are rife with metageekery. There's no escaping it, so I might as well revel in it.


Me on Bond.

My campaign to dominate the American media-on-the-media continues in a sound bite I provided for the New York Daily News article called "The Q factor: How the science behind James Bond's gadgets was reinvented". For added awesomeness, I even got the last word on the subject – and the subject is fantastical doohickeys.

NaNoWriMo update: 17,364.

Ever since I first dreamed up the premise for Children of Winter, Children of Wolves (which has the unfortunate shortened name of CoW, CoW) last year in Frank Espinosa's world-building class, I knew where I wanted to take the story: Romania. There was something about the lore of Eastern Europe, tied up in all its delicious stories of vampires, werewolves and specters, along with the beauty of the gypsy culture, that I wanted to play with, and so, last night about six o'clock or so (or at the 10,304-word mark) I threw my protagonists on a plane and sent them to Romania.

This has been both awesome and slightly sucky. Awesome, in that I'm having a ton of fun sending them through places with names like Tîrgu Mures, Cluj-Napoca and Alba Ilula and investigating things with names like Biserica Neagră, or the Black Church. Sucky, however, in that it's tricky to conduct a lot of research when you're on a strict timeline. Hence, my writing this morning has only generated a little under a thousand more words. That's okay, because I'll give this another go when I get home tonight, but still... Rats.

That said, how can you not see something like this and think it's awesome?

The Black Church

See? Awesome.


NaNoWriMo update: 16,483.


And, in one half-decent scene, I have introduced Vicky's ex-boyfriend, finally gotten to riff on Pi's unusual name, and demonstrated the uncanny power of women to impose their will over both their current boyfriends and their past ones. Man, this story is turning out to be fun.

NaNoWriMo update: 15,686.

I have now successfully written 13,201 additional words in the last 72 hours, or the rough equivalent of 48 pages. I'm almost caught up with the 16,000 words that I'm supposed to have at this point, but I'm not quite there yet. It's very obviously still first draft material, but I am frakking elated. So far Children of Winter, Children of Wolves is approximately 59 pages long and is humming along like a dream, and I even have a vague idea as to what's coming next.

After a long draught of (fiction-related) writer's block and despair, I am back in the game!

(Please don't let this jinx it, please don't let this jinx it...)

NaNoWriMo update: 10,457.

Still not caught up with where I'm supposed to be yet, but having written almost 4,000 words in a relatively short amount of time (most of yesterday afternoon/evening got devoured by running errands instead of writing, alas) I'm still feeling pretty proud of myself. At this stage in the novel I have all the exposition stuff mostly squared away and have just finished the first major action set piece. I'm afraid I might have shown my hand too early, though, because I've now shown that the Big Bad I'd set up in the prologue can be downed at least temporarily through a well-placed taser or three. My heroes are on the run after having been assaulted and evicted from their place of safety, and now I've got to figure out how I'm going to launch the second third of the book. I may have to resort to calling another character out of retirement since the first book. We'll see.

Also, I'm both impressed and annoyed with how the NaNoWriMo word count tracking widgets function. The upside: I can post my word count on the side of my blog, just over there to the left. The downside: it apparently only updates once a day, so it doesn't reflect my new five-figure status. Grump grump.

Right. Back to the slog. Not only do I need to catch up, but I suspect I should try really really hard to bank some work as well. Only 6,209 words to go until I'm caught up... I think the big thing this time around is going to be just rediscovering how much fun it is to write with abandon, and leave out all the concerns about word choice and deeper meaning and whatnot. Bones of the Angel was designed to be an art-house action-adventure movie on paper, nestling my own thoughts about religion and small town life between things blowing up. Children of Winter, Children of Wolves, on the other hand, feels more like a summer blockbuster. Which, when one is trying to reconnect with the art of writing and reading for pleasure, is utterly fine.

One last note – I am discovering, unfortunately, that doing both NaNoWriMo and DrawMo simultaneously is difficult for a reason I hadn't anticipated: last night I sat down to draw and realized that my brain was working in words instead of pictures, and refused to let me throw the switch. Part of this is, I'm sure, because I'm leery of being unable to throw the switch back to the novel-writing mode, but for right now NaNoWriMo wins. I do have some DrawMo sketches to upload later, but for right now, I'm focusing on the written word. Onwards! (Or should that be 'onwords'?)


NaNoWriMo update: 6,911, 612, 1,290...?

I'm having issues with my NaNoWriMo 2008 project. For starters, I was actually traveling when November began, crisscrossing Ohio in a short tour of schools I have known: the College of Wooster, Kenyon, Ohio State, and finally Ohio University down in Athens. Long story short, I was looking for answers to some questions that I had about the perception of the digital humanities in small liberal arts colleges back home. The results were more or less as I'd expected: Ohio State and Ohio University, both bigger schools, already had digital humanities programs in place, while the smaller liberal arts schools like Wooster and Kenyon were taking a more conservative, interdisciplinary model in hand. I came away with still no definitive answers, but a lot more data to help me make an educated guess about what I should be doing next. (When I'll do it is a different question. Pesky debt...)

Anyway, so traveling as much as I was made any extended writing difficult, but now I'm back and using this holiday weekend to play catch-up. In order to write 50,000 words in 30 days, a writer has to average 1,666.67 words per day, and by day 9 (which is today), said writer should have exactly 15,000 words cached. I, alas, do not. Part of this is due to travel, but part is also due to two false starts. I first started writing a short story that I've had stuck in my brain for years called Sticks, which I got 1,290 words into and then set aside. Then I started playing with what Stephen King calls a 'toy truck' story, a goofy riff on steampunk that went on for 612 words before I set that aside too. Then I returned to an idea I'd had for a while for the sequel to Bones of the Angel, and that's where I got some traction – even though most of yesterday was spent wrestling with Quicken and piles of financial data, I've still managed to bang out 6,911 words in approximately the last 24 hours. That's the thing about me and writing – when I get going, and can stay focused, it's awesome. It's the getting going and the staying focused that prove to be problematic.

Take now, for example. Here I am blogging, and I'm about to go take a shower, and I'm considering making some coffee, when really I should be writing. Even if I counted the two abortive starts in my word count, I'd still be at only 8,813 words, which is just over half of where I should be. (Of course, with another two days left to write, if I can keep this pace up I'll be at over 20,000 words by the time I go back to work. Which would be nice, but I don't see it happening.)

Since I don't know if I'll ever get back to this, I'll include here for your amusement the 612-word steampunk riff. Very, very first draft kind of stuff, but it's still fun.

Robin Carraway stood on the deck of the HMS Ebenezer, staring out at the wide expanse of the dead city below. There was something about the towers of the abandoned skyscrapers that called out to him, like a mermaid calling sailors down to drown. Every so often the call would become too overpowering and he'd surrender in spite of himself, strapping an ornikite onto his shoulders and gliding down to poke about in the rubble, especially on days when The Longing grew too great to ignore, but today he didn't have time for such luxuries. Today he and his crew were on a deadline - the Baron was expecting them in the Bronze Court by midday and already the sun was teetering a little too close to directly overhead for comfort. Robin glanced at the heavy chronorig on his left wrist and groaned silently. Punctuality had never been his strong point.

"Master Evans!" Robin bellowed over his shoulder. "Full speed ahead, sir - we have miles to go and only heartbeats in which to cross them!"

The response was a loud, gutteral bark. Robin nodded in satisfaction. Master Evans couldn't speak - none of his kind could - but they could understand well enough to get the job done, as proven by the Ebenezer's sudden lurch forward as the craft doubled its speed. Robin gripped the golden rail by his waist to steady himself and smiled grimly. Heartbeats indeed - there were never enough of those left in anything - in the day, in the world, and although he didn't know it yet, in the Baron's chest. Robin fingered the chonorig again absently. When he did so a tiny thrill ran through his chest. The chronorig was wired directly into his nervous system, where his own nerves were grafted into a personal information network at the cellular level - if the engineers were to believed, at the DNA level - and his chest tightened a tiny bit as his heart twinged. The network was normal, but the twinge was not. Hence the trip to the Baron. That bastard Baron.

Robin's gaze drifted downward again to the ruined city far below. London had seen better centuries. The Thames ran red with rust, Parliament was now fit only for crows, and throughout it all the ticktock men held court over the millions of poor landlocked souls who had never learned to fly. This was largely due to no fault of their own - it took a unique combination of breeding, genetics and fortune to break free of gravity's inexorable pull and rejoin the angels in the sky. Robin was one of the lucky ones, and for this he was eternally grateful. He knew he belonged down there on terra infirma, knew that it was a fluke that had brought him up here, knew that someday that luck would run out and he'd come crashing back down again...

But not today. "Master Evans!" Robin roared again. "Heartbeats!"

The ship's speed increased yet again, and Robin laughed as the onrushing wind blasted him full in the face. It was no wonder God lived in the skies - even on borrowed time, life in the clouds was nothing short of glorious. The trick was to make the jump from borrowed time to stolen time - because stolen time you never had to give back.

Robin felt hot breath on his neck. "Yes, Master Evans?"

An enormous claw appeared in the leftmost edge of Robin's peripheral vision, and Robin nodded. "Yes, I know. Make us ready, Master Evans. We'll have friends attempting to board us soon, as we need to be sure the ship is ready to accommodate them." His smile spread into a rictus grin. "Especially the brig."

See? One part Ellison, one part Moorcock, one part The Matrix... Kind of stillborn on the page, perhaps, but still fun to write. We'll see. Maybe someday.

Finally, a teaser from the 6,911-word piece. Those of you who have read a draft of Bones of the Angel all the way through to the end will know the import of this phrase, and how chilling it actually is to our heroes. This is, in fact, the last thing I wrote before starting this entry, and is what I'll be returning to shortly:


Wish me luck!


Masochism incarnate: NaNoWriMo AND DrawMo 2009.

Because I am completely barking mad, I've decided to attempt both NaNoWriMo and DrawMo this month. So far DrawMo is winning, as "Lanterns" indicates, but I have several things kicking around for the story already. I'm trying to decide if a series of interconnected short stories counts as cheating for NaNoWriMo. I hope not. (Hey, if people can publish such things as novels, I think I'm in the clear – and coming out of this with a handful of short stories I can shop around would be worth its weight in gold.

I'm also wondering if conference/journal proposals and interviews should count towards the word count – on this I'm leaning towards definitely not, which is too bad – I've been writing more of those lately than I care to think about!