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Anthologies & ponies & other notes

A while back I mentioned that I was doing a few anthologies & short stories & books next year.

What's on the schedule:

0. Digital Only release of "Old Habits" a WL story in January 2011.  NOTES: This is a story that overlaps the end of INK EXCHANGE & shows what's going on in the Dark Court during FRAGILE ETERNITY. Very much an Niall story.

1. the last WICKED LOVELY book (DARKEST MERCY) out February 22.
2. the paperback of RADIANT SHADOWS (same day in Feb)
3. the last WL manga (same day in Feb)

4. a vampire short story in TEETH (April) NOTE: This is utterly unrelated to everything I've written :)

5. GRAVEMINDER (June 28)--Adult novel
6. "Guns for the Dead" in NAKED CITY (after that). NOTES:  This is a GRAVEMINDER world story. It's one of the most fun stories I've written.

7. "The Strength Inside" in HOME IMPROVEMENT: UNDEAD EDITION (Ed Charlaine Harris & Toni P Kelner) --August. NOTE: It's unrelated to anthing else I've written.  The cover is public now, & if my settings worked right, youoshould see it in this post to the right of these words.

8. "Untitled Story" in ENTHRALLED: PARANORMAL ROADTRIPS (Ed Kelley Armstrong & . . . me)--in September. NOTE: This is a post-MERCY WL world short story


REMINDERS:
Harper is giving away 20 advanced reader editions (also known as: AREs or ARCs) of the North American edition of DARKEST MERCY on Goodreads. Details here.

You can win a copy from me too. Info here.


QUESTIONS ANSWERED:

Q: Can I write stories about your characters? (I get this a lot lately).
A: Fanfiction is lovely. Some day when I am all done w all of the stories in the WL world, I want to curl up & read ALL of it.   Yes, I'm ok with random utterly surreal pairings. Yes, I'm ok w slash. OTOH, non-con offends me A LOT bc I am a rape survivor, so I ask that you don't do that w my characters.

Now, while I think fanfic is fabulous, you cannot SELL stories based on my characters. That's a copyright violation. I created them (or maybe they created themselves--either way, I own them . . . & the rights to sell stories abt them were purchased by various publishers & the film folks).  You cannot sell stories/anthologies/screenplays/products based on them.  This isn't me being difficult. This is the law for ALL books. She who creates it owns it.

Q: What's your new adult/YA book/series about? What's GRAVEMINDER about? (I get a lot of version of this too)
A: Honestly, I'll give you the info when I have it to share. There are rules on this stuff. I push them a lot more than I should, & my publishers & agents are patient enough to forgive me for it.  I can only push the rules so often though.

I co-wrote the cover copy for the US edition of GRAVEMINDER. I've seen the UK cover. I've seen several cover ideas for the US edition. None of that means I can share it yet.  The very moment I can, I do.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I have sold a 2nd adult novel, a YA trilogy (sans title), & am currently writing a YA called CARNIVAL. You may also know that I have a secret project that I am dying to announce if the terms get squared away, but I also don't want to announce it & then find that it doesn't work out & then I'm all sad every time someone says, "what happened to that Happy Pony Lovesong with Free Chocolate Bunnies you were all excited about?"  No one really wants me to be all blue over & over bc my pony dreams were dashed by cruel fate, right? So, until I'm sure it's a go, I usually try to keep my mouth closed.

. . but sometimes, I fail . . .as in the case of tweeting that I accidentally wrote 40k on CARNIVAL when I was to be taking a few months to relax & not write.  I'm human. I get excited & blurt out things & then go, oops & have to call my agent & say, "I accidentally wrote a giant chunk of a novel in the last week or so."

No, really, that's exactly what I said.

Last year, I had to say, "Umm, yeah, I sorta wrote this WL short story called "Stopping Time" can we do something w it maybe?"

This year, I had to say "Remember how I said I want to take a break? I started a novel . . . & it's a trilogy & I didn't want to write another series, but can you call Harper & see if they want to buy it?"

This stuff happens.

Sometimes, it works out--there IS a new YA trilogy in the works. There is another adult book. There is GRAVEMINDER . . . was an accident too, & now it's releasing in . . . umm, 8 months. These things happen, Hell, Wicked Lovely was originally a short story & then I got all obsessed w the characters.  I'm not so good at the planning part. I follow my impulses.  My agent & my editor (& more importantly, my family) all work around these habits.

Me: I didn't feel like working on the Secret Pony Project bc what if they don't love it? So, I worked on a novel.
Spouse:  More on the 2nd adult novel?
Me: No, not last night . . . Remember the CARNIVAL one I had like 500 word of last year?
Spouse: Yes.
Me: So I wrote 8,000 words.
*a couple days pass*
Me: 30k on this . . . I think I'm writing a book.
Spouse: Seems like it.
Me: *locked in my office for days*
Spouse: *delivers coffee & tea & candy & food* You should sleep too.
Me: *rants on plot & characters & is generally manic over it*
Spouse: I noticed that you tweeted. Perhaps you ought to tell Merrilee abt the accidental book?

So, yeah, that's where we are. I'm writing a few different things. I have 30k of an adult novel, 40k of this YA, & *mumbles* on at least 3 other things. At some point, I'll turn one or more in & they will be things I can tell you more abt, but until such time, I guess the best I can tell you is that  yes, I definitely will be writing another YA series (trilogy this time), another adult, & it looks like there is this accidental novel too . . . & I'm really hoping the Pony Project works too (which fwiw, has exactly NOTHING to do w ponies, but random-unnecessary-things-I-want are often euphimistically referred to as "ponies" in my head).

Ok, back to CARNIVAL . . .

Questions Answered

A few questions from the inboxes and blog threads answered: 

Q: "will there be any open casting calls for the movie??" and "I want to work on costumes for the movie and . . ."  and "I want to audition for ----"
A:  I'm sorry, but that's not my area. I write books, and I am consulting on the film. It's really not a author's role to make any of the decisions on casting, costume, etc. They don't try to tell me how to write my books, and I don't try to tell them how to make a movie. If I hear of anything like open casting or well, anything I think that you all would want to know, I'll blog & tweet it.

Q: "Would it be okay if I made an account on the fansite just to enter the Darkest Mercy ARC giveaway?"
A: Yes. 

Q: "Darkest Mercy playlist . . .Is it up on your HarperTeen playlist part of the site?"
A: Not yet, but when they DO post it, this is what it'll say ;).

playlist under hereCollapse )

Q: "Approximately when do you think you'll have a title and/or release date for your new YA series? The one about myth and science and a girl assassin, I believe? :D"
A: Knowing my history of title headaches with the WL books? LOL. It'll be awhile till I can get a title approved. My working title for the series is SHADOWLIGHT. We'll see if I get to keep it or not (I doubt they'll agree to it), but I've been surprised before.  NOTE: They don't ever leash me on the actual content of my books, but titles are an exercise in stick-in-eye almost every freaking time.

Q:  What's your schedule at FaerieCon?
A: I'm on two panels. Both are on Saturday. They are:
Faerie tales for modern times - 11:30-12:15
A Writers Life - 1:30-2:15

Q:  "In your books the characters say "oh my gods" . Are you polytheistic?"
A:  Typically, I'd answer that the characters & author are very different, and I do have characters who say "oh my God" too.  However, in this case, I will add that  I am pagan.

REMINDER:
You can enter to win an ARC of MERCY at Goodreads. UPDATE: Harper will be sending them to me first, so ALL 20 will be personalized and autographed. :)
I am behind on everything but deadlines, so I'll tackle various email questions here. 

Q: Why isn't RADIANT SHADOWS about Ash???!
A:  The Wicked Lovely series is a series about the Faerie Courts (which, FWIW, is the series title I wish we had used) not about one chick.

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OTHER--
If you have questions I've missed, reply here.  If you have msgs for me, reply here.  PLS NOTE that I'm making comments invisible to everyone but me so you can say what you want in private here :)
WRITING POST #2:

Dear Melissa, You keep mentioning an "m dash" . . .

Answer: Yeah. I sorta love my dashes.  It's a sickness, but it's part of a larger grammar geeking thing that I can't help.

There are three big uses for dashes. 

DASHES #1:
The easiest one is to use in broken dialogue.  In real life, we do this thing where we pause mid-speak to do something physical. Watch people around you when they talk.  It's instinct.  Storytellers do it to draw out tension. People do it in a halting way or a I'm-not-really-uncomfortable or a variety of body language things.

"Our queen worries"--Devlin weighed his words carefully as he emptied the cup of elixir--"I  may need to be away from your side to deal with business matters."

By breaking it, there's a sense of hesitancy, of acknowledging his presence.  It allows me to convey tone. In real life that pauses is a blink. It's an extra few heartbeats to collect thoughts.  

DASHES 2:
It's also dialogue appropriate to show interruptions. It shows a word cut off.  The trick there is to make sure there's enough of a word to let the reader know what was being said.

DASHES 3:
So I used to get these students who said "I want them to PAUSE so I inserted a comma."  As an English teacher, this was an early term lesson.  Commas aren't just inserted to make a reader pause. When we read, we DO pause at a comma, but it's not a bilateral function.  We don't randomly shove commas in to make a reader pause.

All commas MUST have a reason for being. 

Let me repeat that bc it's important: All commas MUST have a reason for being. 

However, if you want an extra beat of pause, you may use an em dash.

She extended her left hand to the yawning mouth of a brass gargoyle knocker. Lovely sharp pain drew a sigh from her as the gargoyle closed its mouth over her fingers. The bite was over before she saw it happen, but she was found to be acceptable.  Only those Irial had permitted access were allowed to disturb him. She was on the list--even at this hour.

So I want the reader to pause a blink. It's the end of a paragraph (one with the usual sentence type mix).  I close with a simple sentence and with an em dash as an extra emphasis. 

POINT OF VIEW
This is a big topic. I'm obsessed with who's telling, to whom, & why.  Honestly, I think this is the big thing that enabled me to go from trying to write to ACTUALLY writing.  I don't do solitary pov. I don't do first. *

First person: Simply put, itan "I" book. Typically 1st is one character telling. Lots of great books are written this way. Writer after writer tells me it's easier. Every time I try, I get blank pages. Lots of blank pages . . . which means I found myself saying "Man, I so can't write a book. Wow, I suck."

I read lots of 1st person solitary protag books. LOTS. Luv them. . . but I find 1st person completely baffling as a writer.  Why?
  • I don't want my voice tangled up w my characters.  If I write in someone else's voice, won't they get some of MY phrases? 
  • If I do this, I need to be able to do full out immersion in a persona in a way I can't find comfortable
  • Holy fragments, Batman! I hate sentence fragments. I can deal w them in blogs, chats, email, and with my novels in dialogue & thought sections, but writing a a book with lots of them would mean I'd need sedated. 
  • Seriously, the way we think? Much much more fragment-y than what works in prose (CUE: Faulkner Sound & Fury for what true first person would read like).  I can't write that way.
  • I have exactly ZERO desire to write a big ol' series with the same protag for years. Doing a repeat of a FEW of the same protags in a few WL books is about as much of one character as I can stand.  I get bored too often.
Multiple first: A few characters telling what they know in some sort of alternating structure <-- This is the hardest sort in my opinion. It means you need to have totally unique voices, diction, speech patterns for multiple characters.  I read a fair number attempting this. I rarely find one that doesn't fail for me. 

It highlights the issue of writing first for me.  I read books by the same author that are supposed to be totally distinct characters, but there are key phrases that echo.  If a WRITER does this, I don't think anything of it. It's writer quirk.  If you ask me to believe that these two totally different people are "telling me a story" but they use these same phrases . . . Ummm, no. I disengage. 

Does third still do that? It does, but my ability to suspend disbelief and buy a voice is less jarred when the CHARACTER'S voice is conveyed via dialogue. 3rd allows that distance that lets me say "a-ha! different character" bc the quirk-phrases that writers have are easier to contain in dialogue than in whole text first person.

Third person:  Not the "I" but the "he" or the "she." 

Third limited: The character who is telling can only tell what s/he knows.

Multiple third limited: A few characters telling what they know in some sort of alternating structure <-- This is what I write.  My books all have multiple narrators telling the tale. So far, I've had 3 (Keenan, Ash, & Don) in WL; 3 (Iri, Leslie, & Niall) in INK; 4 (Ash, Sorcha, Don, & Seth) in FRAGILE; and 3 (Dev, Ani, & Rae) in SHADOWS. 

WHY MULTIPLE POV
For me, a story happens when tw o(or more) characters' lives intersect. Ideally, they want different things, have different goals, etc. So when I write, I am trying to find ways to allow different outlooks to coexist--and clash. The clash is key.  I like the challenge of trying to satisfy conflicting objectives.

THE DIFFERENCE BTW MULTIPLE VOICES & HEAD HOPPING

Limited multiple pov isn't the same as what most people mean by "head hopping."  Head hopping is when you, the author, are able to know everyone'sthoughts so you are in the Deity Position (ie have omniscience AND, in theory, omnipotence).  With multiple 3rd limited, you are structuring the story in "sections."  I typically do this by chapter.  The challenge, of course, is balancing who tells in what order.  Do you switch btw chapters? How often?

It depends.

To determine which character gets pov, I ask "what is this scene about?" If it's about an event that clearly has the most impact to ONE character's trajectory, that's your pov character.  If it could be arc-shifting for a couple of them, you make a choice: who can I get the most mileage out of here? Who will suffer/rejoice.struggle the most? If it's equally poss for 2, I write it twice to see which is better OR I say "A-ha! Keenan hasn't been central for 3 chapters. He will suffer here, so he tells."

Ok, I'm thinking that's enough for now . . . to all of you emailing, PMing, etc.  I'm hoping that these are assauging the writing tips questions you ask.  I do honestly think that this stuff is exciting, but I know I have writer friends who (I suspect) ply me with alcohol to get me to shut up when I start going on about the beauty of dashes & commas & OMG I do love a good colon connected compound sentence.  . . so, umm, please feel perfectly welcome to ignore these posts if you lack the dash love tendency : ) 


-----
* Which, yanno, means I rather desperately WANT to do solitary 1st person pov eventually.
So one of the things that I got to do in Texas was talk about writing.  Before being a writer, I taught university lit & lang.  As part of that job, I taught a bunch of stuff including basic writing, short story, and the very bare bones basic english (one of my FAVOURITE classes).

People in Texas last weekend (& in my email) have asked a few writing questions, so I'm going to try to tackle some.  I'll start with the easy ones.

Q: Sentence types??? Help, pls.

Ok, one theory--and it's one I like often--is that a variety of sentence types (much like a variety of diction) is a Useful Thing.

Simple: Subject + verb
Complex: Simple with "dressing" in the form of a clause
Compound: 2 simple sentences connected
Compound-complex: Compound (ie 2 fused) and at least one of the 2 is complex.

QUICK CHART
SIMPLE: He ran.
COMPLEX: When the zombies chased his girlfriend, he ran.
COMPOUND-COMPLEX: When the zombies chased his girlfriend, he ran, but they caught him too.
COMPOUND: He ran, but the zombies caught him.

MORE EXAMPLES (in a paragraph and with a "why mix it up" answer):

{C}He walked only a block before he saw Gabriel leaning against his steed, which was currently in the form of a deep green classic Mustang.  If Irial asked, Gabriel could spout off the year, engine, and modifications his steed was currently adopting, and for a moment, Irial considered doing just that.  It would be more entertaining than a lecture.
{C}
Sentence #1: He walked only a block before he saw Gabriel leaning against his steed, which was currently in the form of a deep green classic Mustang. <--This is a COMPLEX sentence. This means it has the requisit subject and verb (ie "independent clause") and "dependent clauses" for modification purposes. 

SUBJ: He
Verb: walked

That's a whole sentence right there. It has a subject and verb.  It's able to stand byself, so it's also called an indep clause.  It's useful to have such formats. Bunches of short simple statements can speed your pacing, & compound or complex or compound-complex can slow you down.   At this point in the text, I'm not looking to speed up.  

Dep Clause #1:  "before he saw Gabriel leaning against his steed"  This is an adverbial clause. It answers when (ie it's acting like an adverb).

Dep Clause #2: "which was in the form . . . Mustang."
This is an adjectival clause. It tells us about the steed (ie it's acting like an adj).

Sentence 2:  If Irial asked, Gabriel could spout off the year, engine, and modifications his steed was currently adopting, and for a moment, Irial considered doing just that. <-- This is a compound complex sentence. It has ALL the stuff the complex sentence does, and it is a compound sentence (two sentences connected by a comma-conjunction, a semicolon, or a colon). 

If Irial asked,  <--Clause. That's the thing that makes it complex.

",and" <-- Comma & conjunction. That's the thing that makes it compound  for a moment.


Sentence #3: It would be more entertaining than a lecture.<-- Simple sentence (ie just a subject & verb)

I use the simple sentence after various more wordy constructions bc it stands out. . . It's like the cuss word in the middle of the teacher's intro to the class.  It stands out bc it's different and more concise.

Run-On Sentences:
A run-on is different than using a modifying clause (ie those dep clauses we were just discussing).  People get that wrong regularly. A run-on is when you fuse two sentences WITHOUT the conjunction.

{C}NOT A RUN-ON: Gabriel joined him, walking in the direction Irial had already been going. 

A RUN-ON: {C}He’d promised her choices, he wouldn’t take them from her.

CORRECTED: {C}He’d promised her choices, and he wouldn’t take them from her.
{C}CORRECTED 2: He’d promised her choices; he wouldn’t take them from her.
{C}CORRECTED 3: He’d promised her choices: he wouldn’t take them from her.
CORRECTED VERSION 4: {C}He’d promised her choices. He wouldn’t take them from her.

All I did was add the conjunction ("and") or punctuation. 

In this case, I wouldn't use the colon bc I think stylistically it isn't as strong here.  The colon is like the equals sign in algebraic equations.  They are ALL correct, but the choice of which works best is up to the writer.

But I don't think I need to know any of this, it's not how I speak!

Here's the thing--and like most everything else I say, it's a biased opinion--what we say in conversations, blogs, & dialogue in novels is different than the rules.  To be honest, one reason I struggle with first person is that in first person we either have to write the way we think/tell the tale OR we're claiming first person, but REALLY not writing as we think, but still claiming we are.  In person & on the blog, I abbreviate; I cuss; and I use shorthand. In person, I use fragments, ellipses, repeated phrases mid-way through a sentence.  In my texts, I have a VERY hard time writing that way.  It took me almost two years to be willing to start a sentence with a conjunction.

NOTE: Technically, we are to start with a transition word (however, also, furthermore, moreover), but sometimes that sounds archaic. I break that rule for style purposes (and sometimes fear that there is a ring of hell for grammar/mech violations).  

NOTE 2: Ditto the ending a sentence with a preposition.  By law, those things require a freaking object. It's the RULE. One doesn't end with "of."  No no no . . . except I do.  Why? It's a style choice to keep from sounding stilted. 

And that's the underlying point, we can break the rules for style, but it's really good to know the rules and CHOOSE to break them, rather than do it bc we're wanting the easier path.  I get it: they're a pain. However, if you want to make a career of anything, it's going to take effort. 

I'm far from a brilliant writer, but I know that my familiarity with grammar & mech has been as much (more?) of an asset to me than anything else so far.  These are not what most folks consider exciting to learn. I hear that they aren't as exciting as networking (truth be told, I like mech more than might be healthy).  It's not as fun as conferences, and honestly, it's not as QUICK as some people want. Some of it simply requires reading, study, and wondering why most of the books are so tedious in the examples. (I, obviously, made up my own examples for class bc weird sticks better.)

I firmly believe that it's a necessity.  I KNOW that you don't need to network (I certainly didn't) or go to "what hot in the market" panels. You can do that stuff, but it's not required.  What IS required is knowing how to play with words. I think this stuff is essential.

So . . . therein ends the post.  I'll try to tackle a few more of the requests.

Funeral Museum

I posted a few pictures from the Funeral Museum in my Flickr.   There are other photos from the past yr on there too (finally).

FUNERAL MUSEUM (Houston TX)
If you all ever get a chance to go, it's a lovely museum.  It's not as large as I'd hope, but it is a great spot to get a sense of the evolution of hearses/coffin coaches and of coffins .

They have memorial jewelry, a replica 1800s coffin shop, a short film & display on embalming, the glass coffin made in the 30s and modeled on the Disney Snow White coffin, a family coffin, fantasy coffins, & exhibits on papal funerals & Presidential funerals. . . AND you can buy the embalming video, a book on the history of Funerals in America, & other interesting stuff in the gift shop.  It's not crass or macabre.  It's a respectful and informed insight into the history of funerals.  It's VERY highly recommended.
People ask about the process regularly & how long it takes and WHY it takes so long.  Between concept andrelease is typically AT LEAST 18 months.

My Publishing Timeline
End of 2004: WL the short story was written
2004-Middle of 2005: Editors rejected the short story.
Summer 2005: I started writing it as a novel.

I was querying for a middle grade novel I'd written. A few agent nibbles.  Rejections.  At that point there was not much of paranormal YA market--even Twilight wasn't published yet. EVEN if there is NO market, but that doesn't mean one should give up!!!! I still have this short story I'm obsessing over, so I start writing it into a novel.

[ETA NOTE: Yes, there were a few paranormals, but the YA crush wasn't upon us yet. The point here was that I didn't think it was likely to find much of a home. There were TWO YA faery books out there that were pretty much all I could find Holly Black's TITHE--which kicks ass--and de LInt's THE BLUE GIRL which also kicks ass. Beyond that? I was seeing much indication that there was a market for what I was writing.]

Nov/Dec 2005: An agent who rejected the middle-grade requested the YA novel (then called "Finding the Summer Queen.")

Jan 2006: I queried more agents. 
Feb 2006: I signed with an agent.
March 2006: Harper US & UK bought the book (& 2 more).  NOTE: By this point, we are 16 months btw concept & sold the book.

--here's where it starts to get blurry--

April: a half dozen more countries buy the books.
May-June: Revised like crazy with notes from Anne Hoppe (my US editor) and Nick Lake (my UK editor) .
July 2006: Copyedit
August: Galleys
September: Summoned to NYC by the publisher.

Jan 2007: pre-release tour
--during this time I am also in revisions on my 2nd novel (INK)--

June 2007: WL releases in the US, UK, & Germany
June 2007: WL debuts as a NY Times bestseller.
NOTE: By this point, we are 29 months btw concept & published book.

Summer 2007: I am in London for release of WL & then in Ireland for research & writing.
July-August: Still on the NYT list
--during this time I am also writing my 3rd novel (which was then released in April 2009) AND doing copyedit on the 2nd novel--

October 2007: Surprise! Tour
Dec 2007-Feb 2008: writing

April 2008:  INK releases
--during this time I am revising the 3rd novel--
May/June-US tour stuff
August: London tour stuff/ Scotland research trip
August: WL wins the Romance writers of America RITA for YA (the first YA RITA  in over a decade!)

--during ALL Of this time the books are still selling in other countries, releasing in some, & I am answering what email I can--

. . . and this keeps going.  One book releasing, another writing, and a another in revision . . . and releasing in various countries. 

So while from the outside it may seem that authors are sitting around in our garrets doing not a whole lot, umm, nope.  (And the reality is that my schedule is pretty tame compared to a lot of folks' schedules.) Still, I work far more than 40 hours a week, but WORK isn't really the "fun part."  It's not 40 hours a week of writing.  There are meetings & teleconferences w editors, publicists, agents, marketing (etc).  There are email & phone interviews. There are "we need ___  by Right Now" email from editor/agent/marketing/publicity.

. . . and those are the weeks when we aren't at a deadline, on tour, at a conference.

. . . and the concepts are brewing today for a book that might not happen until years from now.

. . . and the writing is going on (TODAY) for a book not releasing until 2011 . . . which I was thinking about back when I wrote the 3rd YA book. . . in part bc there are clues I needed to put in FRAGILE that will develop in the book I'm now writing.


RESEARCH QUESTIONS
I'm getting a lot of questions bc of my posting tidbits of lore on Twitter : )

Where:

Scholarly Journals
  • The Lion and the Unicorn
  • Marvels and Tales
  • Folklore (among others)
CHECK 
  • your library's online academic database
  • University library holdings (sometimes local non-uni folks can get library passes)
  • Interlibrary loan is ADDICTIVE & awesome.
  • Reference librarians (serious cool folks)
Books
  • look in the aforementioned journals for reviews
  • browse bookstores (used bookstores=potential treasure troves)
  • Bibliographic citations at the end of academic articles
  • Anything associated w Jack Zipes (who is as close to a god as folklore scholars can get)
  • Some books by Maria Tatar or Marina Warner
Lore:
  • Libraries (don't be afraid to go to the kidlit section)
  • Bookstores
  • Scholarly journals (Marvels & Tales offers trans lore)
  • Sacred Texts website has old texts online
  • Random bookstores when you travel (I stop at bookstores by default & bought an extra suitcase to carry home the books I bought in Scotland & Ireland)
  • Guidebooks for historic spots
  • Museum giftshops
Hope that gives you a start.  I can tell you what I'm reading but half the fun is the journey so simply reading the articles I read is going to be  less useful (& less fun).
Off to write so I can take tonight off to go on a date w my spouse :)

More drafting process (on INK)

Here are a few more journal pages. The first set of
pages are over here.

NOTE #1: If you "click" the images twice, they should get big enough to read. The first "click" will open in a new page, & the second click will enlarge them to full screen.

NOTE #2: I do apologize for my handwriting. You can see that the faster the thoughts go, the less readable it is. . . which has the unfortunate consequence of making the transcription from notebook to type a challenge sometimes.

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I have a stack of notebooks. Almost every story I have started ends up in these (as well as revision notes, scrawl from phone calls w editor & w agent & w crit partners). When I travel, I always have a notebook, & on flights & in airports & when I am waiting for appointments or getting my hair dyed, I write in longhand.

Mostly, the only one who ever sees inside my notebooks is, well, me. They are my unpolished, as first draft as it gets text. They are the "just rolled outta bed, haven't combed my hair or washed my face or oh gods where is my tea??" version of text :)

That said, people often ask about the writing process. It is one of the top 3 writing questions asked in email & at events. I did a big blog on writing the manga (& a lenghy thing on it over at the Book Smugglers--and on the USB drives I gave out at events last year). I guess this is part of the answer to "How do I write a book?" For those who are interested, under the cut is the early stuff from Wicked Lovely that not even my editor or agent or crit partner have ever seen. For those who aren't interested, well, it's under an lj-cut to spare you :)

NOTE #1: If you "click" the images twice, they should get big enough to read. The first "click" will open in a new page, & the second click will enlarge them to full screen.

NOTE #2: I do apologize for my handwriting. You can see that the faster the thoughts go, the less readable it is. . . which has the unfortunate consequence of making the transcription from notebook to type a challenge sometimes.
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Now, off to see if I can find what I was actually looking for in these journals ;)