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Still Writing

In case my spate of reviews should be giving the impression that I'm living (as my ex said not long after we parted) entirely for pleasure, I thought I'd bring you all up to date with what I'm doing when not swanning the theatres of New York in fetching outfits and neo-vintage hats.

I finally finished and sent "The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor" to Gavin Grant and Kelly Link for their anthology Steampunk!, to be published next year by Candlewick Press.  And Gavin just accepted it, so I can crow and do the Happy Dance.  I'm particularly pleased because for some reason writing that story was like corralling butterflies, and took many drafts, quite a lot of whining, and many long walks while I talked it all over with Ellen before Kelly providentially said the magic one thing that allowed me to bring the whole thing together and make it make sense.  I don't think she could have said it any earlier, though.  And I don't think anybody who had their nose right up in it could have seen it so clearly.  So all that 6 week's work was, in fact, necessary.  My process takes the time it, and I'm learning to live with that.

Next up is the proposal for The Dragon of Wall Street, the next of the New York Between books.  It will close the trilogy that began with Changeling, what I think of as the Neef books, and tie up all the loose ends of Neef's initial quest.  I've got most of it drafted (the proposal, this is, not the book), and should be able to polish it up and send it off to kind proposal-readers by Monday.  After which it's just a matter of sending it to my agent and waiting for the shoes to start falling.

On Monday, then, I dive into the rewrites on Freedom Maze.  I've got reams of notes from my blessed, blessed beta-readers, ranging from historical gaffes to dialect missteps to pacing issues to racial snafus to the usual plot questions and the ever-present problem with my heroine's age and personality.  I have collated the notes, I have gone through the manuscript with a red pen, rearranging incidents, noting where new scenes might be necessary, cutting here, moving there, noting which bits of a long and useless chapter might be moved somewhere else.  Now, I just have to do a little more research on school desegregation in Louisiana in 1960 (I'm going to the Paley Center for Media on Tuesday, to see what was on the radio and TV and do some listening), and then it's deathmarch time.  Because this baby is going to need a lot of work, and it's due June 15--a deadline I really have to hit, since I'll be leaving for Clarion less than 10 days later, and I am not one of those teachers who can just show up and wing it.  Plus, it's the first week of the session, which means Admin and Organization.

And then?  Well, it depends on what Viking decides about Dragon, and when.  I've got a kid's book I started when I was waiting to hear about MMMQ, based on my story in A Troll's Eye View, "The Wizard's Apprentice."  I figure it's about half-written, and I do know what happens next, so I will probably work on that.  Unless I am ambushed by a story while we're traveling, which sometimes happens.   It would be nice if I finished it by the end of the year, but I'm not holding my breath.

Oh, and I've been asked (Happy Dance) to write an introduction to Aqueduct Press's reprint of Suzy McKee Charnas' brilliant novel Dorothea Dreams, which I have loved ever since I first read it in 1986, and burbled about to Suzy when Ellen introduced me to her at the WFC in Nashville in 1987.  And I'm working on a Study Guide for Interfictions 2 with Christopher Barzak and Carlos Hernandez.  Please take note, those of you who might be teaching short fiction.  It includes a bibliography of interstitial works and works about interstitiality and everything.  And I'm beta-reading two really lovely novels by two really wonderful writers, which is not only fun, but keeps me thinking about the craft of writing in personally useful and interesting ways.

In other news, the snow is still coming down outside, fine and sparkling in the (intermittent) sun.  I haven't seen an accumulation like this since February of 2007, when it took us something like 8 hours to drive to New York from Boston to spend a month looking for an apartment.  It's very pretty to look at, but a trip down to the East Village to attend nojojojo (which rocks exceedingly, btw--both the book and the party) demonstrated that it is a lot nicer to look at than slog and slide through.  So we're staying in today and finally making some inroads into our over-flowing freezer.  Split pea soup with smoked turkey, anyone?  Whole wheat bread?  Slightly freezer-burned stew?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, I used to have Dorothea Dreams. I don't think I ever got round to reading it and I'm sure I don't have it now.

Steampunk is everywhere right now! Or maybe it's just because I joined that community. I'm sure I've seen other things recently too.
Feb. 28th, 2010 03:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Steampunk is the New Big Thing. I just hope the popularity holds on long enough for the anthology to sell well. Timing is all with these things.

Dorothea Dreams is a wonderful book. Wait a few months, and you'll be able to order it from Aqueduct Press, a small press owned and operated by the indomitable L. Timmel Duchamp, poet, feminist, and supporter of women's writing extraordinaire.
Feb. 27th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
Best wishes with Dragon.
I love Dorothea Dreams: it is one of the very few fantasies that has believable older characters as the focus.
Feb. 28th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
I love it, too. Such a treat to get to re-read it carefully after many years. A real book for grown-ups.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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