Tag Archives: out to editor

Reading and Writing, October 7

This entry is part 7 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

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.

On Betas

And on that, in_the_blue is a contributing author to two anthologies, including Dragonthology. You can check out her website as Gwynne Jackson on Wordpress.

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.

On Reading

So brief reviews of what I've been reading lately.

The Transfer

"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

365 Challenge

  • 202/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Little Girl Reminders – 542 words
  • 203/365 – Seven Days Ficlet: The Joys of Motherhood – 257 words
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A Day in the Life of the Scribbler, October 6

This entry is part 6 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Stage One: Assess

So there are lovely ficlets waiting to be read in my LJ inbox. There are lovely notes on the story from inferno and my infuriating anthology to be implemented. And there are prompts. Not to mention house-cleaning and other chores—like breakfast.

I've also been thinking about starting up blogging again, but there's the interesting thought of... should I? I'd like to focus on fiction I think.

I'm going to go do necessaries, then hit the story from inferno.

Stage Two: Work

So I'm actually flipping back and forth between cleaning, editing, munching, and going shopping (just got back). So far, it's working. I'm on page 13 out of 27 of my first pass through the manuscript at a little after three o'clock. I can tell this will take a couple passes though.

It's 5:48 p.m. and the first pass is done. I have two big changes to make and a handful of edits to decide on. Sometimes I agree with my beta, every once in a while I don't, and sometimes I figure out how to fix the issue in a way I like that differs from the one suggested. I've got those left.

Writing the new scenes. That's all I can call it, though technically, I'm writing them in and around the old material. It's better, I think. I hope my beta agrees.

Second pass done around 9:45 p.m. Just for the stylistic pass now and those last little decisions... Ten minutes later and we're down to stylistic. And wrapped at 11:00 p.m. Wow. Back to beta. At least, my brain doesn't feel like mush!

On Reading

Better (read, more relevant) blog posts today. Two I felt were necessary to link to:

The first one goes through a few ways people plot stories and when you get to this paragraph, just insert my name here:

My first clue is usually that I have an enormous heap of bright shiny bits and pieces (a few of which I absolutely know go into the story somewhere, but most of which I am equally positive are mutually exclusive options) that I can’t make fit with each other.

The second article on enthusiasm is me in a perfect nutshell, except that I find I am simply unable to make progress when I opt for discipline over enthusiasm. If I shut up the muse at all, I shut it up entirely. Needless to say, this is a very bad thing.

 Stage Three: Count

  • Total Fiction: 2000 words - Month to Date: 9604 words
  • Total Blog: 742 words - Month to Date: 2125 words

365 Challenge

  • 198–201/365: Dowse and Bleed – about 13,600 words
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A Day in the Life of the Scribbler, October 5

This entry is part 5 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So last night, instead of worrying about writing, I read my incredibly wonderful beta notes that came back from multiple parties and got one set compared to the document to remember what I'd done. Learned a few things.


Interestingly enough, the anthology I put together while definitively needing work turns out to have been aimed strongly at a poetry audience, which explains a lot of its failings as a fiction anthology.

En brief, on the tin I go after a fandom audience and aim to appeal to those in my own community (go figure), but in reality, I have three primary audiences I appeal to with different pieces and some overlap: SFF, literary, and poetry. Tone is a bigger part of this than just story. Half of my flashfic appears to be solidly in the poetry camp, which hardly surprises me as that's how I got into flash fiction in the first place.


Proofreading, oddly enough, is not the same as copyediting. Proofreading in the vernacular has come to mean typo and grammar cleanup, but that's not what it actually means. Proofreading is where you take that carefully copyedited manuscript and make sure the document going to press didn't do wonky things to your formatting.

When the Clock Chimes had some very wonky things happen to my formatting. I am henceforth adding proofing back into my writing/publishing process. I've got a few edits I could've sworn I made already not present in the file I'm working from and the italics! Oy, the italics. To say nothing of the line spacing. :headdesk:

Will write some on the 6th, but that's primarily devoted to cleaning, shopping, and an all-day virus scan, so we'll see.

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The Words, The Web, and The Work

  • Finished a draft of an entire collection of flash, entitled: And Everything Nice. Too bad it's going back to the drawing board, but ah, well! It happens.
  • Got back a personal rejection for a drabble at Every Day Fiction. My perennial, "More! More! Tantalizing, but want more!" kind of note. Sometimes this phenomenon calls out my grumpy Bah humbug! vibe, but hey, it's a good sign. More's a comin'.
  • Figured out how to get synopses on my home page here, and while it does mean I can no longer restrict posts to just Therefore I Am..., I think it's an improvement.
  • Changed my primary twitter account from fandom-based whispersofromy to LianaMir1. I will no longer be updating the old Twitter.
  • Am working on building out a Zazzle store or two. More on that when there's more to tell.
  • Got started on Textbroker.com. I'm actually making some income!
  • Speaking of which, any praying folks out there, the government's holding onto my bucks and things are about to get not pretty financially if something doesn't break.
  • Am only one story short of a little Pearl Wise collection. Feeling out for the prompt: The Rule of Alchemy. It is:

For every portion of light to come into the world, a certain portion of darkness must be overcome.

Inspire any thoughts? Questions? I'd love the help, just saying. :grins:

And that, folks, is all for the moment!

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Updates, Spider Silk, and Awards

Finished the first draft of The Intentional Writer today. It's a whopping 8,667 words long ( :headdesk: I still write short), but it's done and off to the editor. :grins:

Edited 3 short stories and shipped 2 off to editors. Will be publishing the other 2 promptly (after haranguing covers out of my imagination).

Another one from Rabia, this one on spider silk. What surprises me so much about this fascinating topic is that

  1. the numbers data scattered over the web is so very conflicting. It's almost impossible to conjecture accurately from the many different variations.
  2. farming spiders is impossible. From what I can tell, these spiders do not require a lot of personal space if you feed them (30 spiders will share a single tree), and thus there is no reason you cannot cage them separately so they don't eat each other. I feel a spider-silk mercantile center brewing in the world of Breath, and its name is Parphos.[The one I really love though is Theophopes, the white temple spider who talks and considers himself to be a "professor of philosophy and mercantile" and doesn't find it the least disturbing to discuss why he abstains from killing his fellow spiders, even when they are most annoying, or why it is perfectly natural to trust him despite his fatal venom. He's way too fun.]

Last, but not least, I've been awarded! It goes like this:

  • Post this happy little icon at right, naming me a Versatile Blogger.
  • Link to the person who nominated me. Thank you, Rabia Gale!
  • Tell people 7 things about myself (see below).
  • Pass on the award to others (see further below).

Seven Things About Myself

  1. I have not succeeded at finishing the Primary Sources meme, which gives some of the most influential books, films, music, etc. on my life; however, I do know that the movie Hoosiers is on it. The film was released a year before I was even born, but I can wholly attribute my first well-written novel to it and a huge part of all the things I love about intimate character studies and small town stories. The only recent movie I think even comes close is Believe in Me, which I love, but was not particularly influential on my thought processes.
  2. I am a youngest child. Despite this fact, I'm the only one of us that prefers to be off by myself and doing my own thing.
  3. My personal favorite nickname for myself is Madame Eclectica. Not because I'm approaching middle-aged (I'm not), but because I have waaaaaaaay too many different interests.
  4. If it weren't for my unceasing tongue or pen, I think I would be a rather boring person to be around. My idea of fun is to evaluate a language no one but myself will ever speak to identify the exact phonological sounds it includes. (I usually lose my sister around the word "glottal."
  5. When I was five years old, I broke my wrist—by falling off the bed. Seriously, don't ask.
  6. I still don't know the purpose of this blog other than to provide a window into my writing and otherwise uninspiring life.
  7. The best thing I learned from fandom was how to build logical bridges between canonical errors without unwriting those errors. (Though there was that one that simply cannot be reconciled. :glares at Marvel: )

As for Versatile Bloggers, hmm...

Owl and Sparrow: Kayla Olson and her general loveliness blogs at http://owlandsparrow.wordpress.com. I love to read her posts; they're just so refreshing, though at the moment, she's spending more time with baby than internet. (Can't say I blame her.)

Must Use Bigger Elephants: Patty Jansen in her concise scientificness at http://pattyjansen.wordpress.com. I like stopping in for odds and ends and sciency bits.

Character Therapist: Jeannie Campbell and her delightful analyticalness at http://charactertherapist.blogspot.com. So many of my favorite blogs are extremely focused, but she manages to vary things up while remaining ever interesting.

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