Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Two Sweetest Words in Authorhood


Or more poetically, to borrow the final line of Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles:
We have reached the open sea, with some charts; and the firmament.

The Tainted City is finished!  And on my birthday, too.  My husband and I will do some serious celebrating tonight, let me tell you!  And then I will watch Game of Thrones on DVD, and read books, and speak to my friends, and get outside in the mountains, and all the thousand things that have fallen by the wayside in the last weeks as I raced to finish a coherent draft.

And oh god, how painful that was.  My husband and son and I were all sick last week.  Because my husband is awesome, he agreed to let me run away to a hotel this past weekend for a 24/7 writing marathon without any toddler-related distractions.  Of course, a few hours after I left for the hotel, I got a phone call: the 3yo woke up screaming saying his ear hurt, and screamed nonstop for 3 hours after.  I ended up going home from the hotel at midnight to help my shell-shocked husband take him to the ER.  It was just an ear infection (a new experience for the kiddo; this was his first), but even post-motrin and antibiotics, the 3yo did not sleep for the rest of the weekend.  Which means my husband did not either.  But he insisted I go back to the hotel & keep writing, because he was just as anxious for this book to be done as I am.  Maybe more so.  (He has been wondering these last few months if he even has a wife.)

Of course, the book isn't really done.  Not yet.  There will be revisions and copyedits and all that jazz.  (I already have a list of things I want to enhance or cut or adjust that I'll be working on while I wait for "real edits".)  But god damn, it's an entire coherent story, and that feels SO AWESOME.

Final Stats:
Manuscript Length: 164,509 words (heh, I thought it would be ~150K. Not so much. Though I suspect I'll be doing some significant cuts in revision.)
Deleted Scenes File Length: 34,122 words (good God.)
Number of Day Job and Real Life Things That I Have Been Shoving Off For Far Too Long: approximately 10 zillion.

Happy Birthday to me!  And now I shall party.

Monday, April 9, 2012

State of the City

Breaking radio silence to say congrats to the recently-announced Hugo and Campbell award nominees!  And special congrats to fellow Night Shade author (and alumni Night-Bazaar blogger) Stina Leicht for her Campbell nomination.  Stina's a terrific writer - I loved her debut novel Of Blood and Honey, and I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel And Blue Skies From Pain - so I'm thrilled she made the Campbell shortlist.  Also, congrats to the authors who made the David Gemmell Morningstar award shortlist!  Voting's gonna be tough for me, I've read and loved several of the novels.

So. Two work weeks left until my deadline for The Tainted City...time for the final push to the end.  I'm taking vacation from the day job these next weeks so I can write on the days my 3 year old is in preschool, and praying nobody gets sick or any other life mishaps get in the way of finishing.  Latest stats:

Current manuscript length: 135,251 words
Deleted scenes file length: 24,080 words (gaaaah!)
Number of scenes left to go: I don't want to think about it.
Number of spree candies consumed: way, waaaaay too many.  (I hate coffee, tea, soda, pretty much everything with caffeine, so I use sugar instead.  Back at Caltech, I used to eat pixie sticks and tubes of icing during finals week to stay alert.  Might resurrect that tradition now...)
Songs currently in heavy rotation on my Tainted City playlist: (I listen to music while writing whenever possible, and latch onto songs that have music or bits of lyrics that remind me of scenes/characters/relationships in the book - I play them to quickly get "into the zone" for writing.)

Shelter (Icon of Coil) I can't find shelter in this world / I'm searching for another world where I'll feel safe 

Poisonous Friend (Seabound)  Sometimes I watch her kill / cold eyes and no restraint / and I wonder how it feels to annihilate a friend  (Note: I actually like the "Severed Heads remix" version best, but that version doesn't seem to be available online anymore...)

In the Pit (Combichrist)...a.k.a. the Jylla song. I'm all f**ked up now I want you to care / want it right now, I want you to care

Daimonion (Project Pitchfork) You've got to get to know yourself / or are you just a marionette / following the subtle rules given by the mighty

Undisclosed Desires (Muse)...a.k.a. the Dev and Cara song.  I want to reconcile the violence in your heart...I want to exorcise the demons from your past 

Headhunter (Danny Tenaglia cover of Front 242) I'm looking for this man / to sell him to other men / at ten times his price at least

Two weeks.  Not long!  See you on the other side...