So I had a late night last night that terminated with the end of my deep virus scan at 3 o'clock this morning. To say I'm feeling only minimally inspired is putting it mildly. On one hand, I think the story from inferno, also known as "Dowse and Bleed" is finally done. I sent it back off to my beta late, late last night and she graciously consented to give it another gander. Thank you, Lord, for an awesome beta.
I have been fascinated in a probably-too-involved sort of way at Elle Casey's blog post about action in story and… betas. She considers being a stranger to be a requirement because friends hold back. It's human nature. I consider being a stranger to be a great way for me not to know your reading style and my beta (love you!) does not hold back on me and I don't hold back on her, and that MATTERS.
I'm not afraid of getting hurt by my editor. I'm a writer; my fears are significantly more predictable: that my story sucks, that it doesn't make sense, that I'll never finish something worthwhile, etc., etc. I'd rather my beta tell me nicely to go back to the drawing board than have a reader tell me I should have quit while I was ahead. But let's face it: it's the real world. I'm gonna get a healthy dose of both.
And on that, thank you also lithiumlaughter for being the queen of all things poetry and for all your help as a new-to-my-fiction reader of the anthology. Between the two of my betas, I think I might be able to salvage what I'd hoped for from that mess. (I say 'mess' with all due affection).
In case you hadn't noticed, I get rather rambly when I'm tired, and I'm tired, so this is rambly, but I felt it strong enough to want it off my chest before trying to pull together anything fictive. I don't thank my betas half enough and I still haven't finished that Niko + Collie fanfic, though it keeps accusing me when I flip through it in my WIP file. It's just there's this little original fiction addiction I seem to be going through right now… Right. Yeah. I'm a mess at staying disciplined with these things.
So brief reviews of what I've been reading lately.
"The Transfer" is a short story by Veronica Roth about Tobias Eaton transferring from his birth faction, Abnegation, to the one that would hurt his father the most, Dauntless, where he earned a new name on his first day. We see his father/son relationship and I don't care how old this sort of material is, I was already invested in the character and the sculpture and the details and the characterization made this one hit me hard. We see the terrible ambivalence Tobias has toward his world, unable to find where he fits because there is only one thing he knows and it's the most terrible part of all. We see Tori and Amar and the fearscape. In short, I loved this and intend on picking up the next three shorts as soon as they're released.
With Fate Conspire
I recently reread With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan. It's the fourth and final book of the Onyx Court series, historical fiction deeply interwoven with a fictional faery London that is terrible, realistic, and wonderfully fascinating all at once. I own this book because I made the winning Livejournal icon for it for the author and so got an advanced review copy: white cover, specs on the outside, and all. If anyone was wondering, I want the entire series in their proper covers. I nominated this book for Yuletide, even though it was a brand new fandom on AO3. That is my intro to say how much I love this book. Now, to the details.
There are really three stories going on here. Though the third one doesn't take prominence until the end, the echoes of it are felt throughout. Echoes? What am I saying? The earthquakes of it are rending the fabric of the world around our two protagonists, whose primary foci are quite personal. London is shot through with iron and the underground trains are being run right through the Onyx Hall. Faery London is in its death throes and while fighting desperately to hold on, see little or no way to save the Hall or their presence in London.
In the middle of this, Eliza is an Irish woman who as a girl befriended a skriker, a faery creature, then was betrayed when he stole away her friend and love, Owen. She is on a hunt through London to find the faeries that are bombing the railroads and make them give Owen back. The other protagonist is the skriker she once befriended who is caught up in his own desperate fight for survival, bound to a cruel master who breaks people for the sake of breaking them, and who may hold the only key to saving the Hall.
I love deep worldbuilding, sprawling stories, juxtaposed timelines, technical details. If you don't, this book isn't for you. If you do, this book delivers. I keep reading it and rereading it because it's the fascinating interplay of faery and human, Irish and Fenians, the church and the Special Police, science and magic, survival and sacrifice, the personal and the epic. I love this book.
Spots the Space Marine
Another book I just reread—again. Written by M.C.A. Hogarth, it's one of those awesome serials that was snippeted and scened (in chronological order) all the way through a sprawling epic with an intimate, personal look at an ensemble cast. Warning: this book is not served well by the ebook format. I could. not. read it until I got a print copy through the Kickstarter project. After I got the hefty book in my hot little hands (yes, it gets heavy), I fell wholely in love.
You have Spots, properly Magda Guitart, who just got shipped in from a part-time desk job in the Marine reserves joining a squad that's still reeling from the loss of many of their people. Then, there's Claws who takes her under wing and in turn comes under her wing as they make acquaintances and then friends with the resident alien "Fiddler," Samuel-Colt, a weapons-engineer, music-expressive bug with a huge sense of humor. Turns out, this depot off in the middle of the nowhere is in a hotbed of a crab warzone and their relationship with the Fiddler is their only way to survive as the battles get hotter and more devastating.
And Spots dances. In body armor. With a singing, cutting-edged shield. I cannot begin to do this book enough justice. Read it.
If I were a good girl, I'd tell you more about thecatisacritic's work right now, but I'll save that for when I have more energy to do it justice. So my comments were less than awesome, but they exist. And I love the new story.
In related news, ran across a wonderful resource dealing with the legal status of fandom and self-regulation within the community. I am a firm believer in fandom (duh) and treat my original fiction as a canon with some self-generated fanfic and a community approach.
Wasn't I supposed to be writing…?
Yeah. That. :coughs: Okay, pick a prompt I guess and fire away. Let's just run with the theme of chairs and laps and hugs for a bit, okay?
Paused to yak comfortably to thecatisacritic over her ficlets and mine. And Shift.
I might go to bed when I get home, which would mean no more scribbling.
- Total Fiction: 799 words - Month to Date: 10,403 words
- Total Blog: 1314 words - Month to Date: 3439 words
- 202/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Little Girl Reminders – 542 words
- 203/365 – Seven Days Ficlet: The Joys of Motherhood – 257 words