Thursday, April 30, 2009


The Best of Abyss and Apex, Vol One is now available - with my story, Hour By Hour! Check it out:

Glad to see the anthology out and about. And I still maintain it's one of the most awesome covers ever. Pity you can't see the back cover - it shows a knight with the spaceman reflected in his helm. (So basically a reverse of the front.)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thank You For The Days

This collection of songs differs from my previous "Day by Day" in that it's less about seasons and time as specific references to days (and nights). The title refers to a line from the final song on here, going thusly: "Thank you for the days: those endless days, those sacred days you gave me ..."

1. A New Day Has Come - Celine Dion
2. Titanic Days - Kirsty MacColl
3. I See Hope - Midge Ure
4. Always Tomorrow - Gloria Estefan
5. This Night - Dian Diaz
6. It's A Beautiful Day - Sarah Brightman
7. Tell Me On A Sunday - Andrew Lloyd Weber soundtrack; Sharon Campbell
8. One Night Only - Dreamgirls soundtrack
9. Everyday - Anne Murray
10. Yesterday - Sarah Brightman
11. Mysterious Days - Sarah Brightman (another case of bad mixing - but again, the songs are wildly different)
12. One Of These Days - Michell Branch
13. Lazy Days - Enya
14. Poor Little Fool - Helen Reddy
15. Ten Days - Celine Dion
16. Last Day Of Summer - Kirsty MacColl
17. 8th World Wonder - Kimberley Locke
18. Save The Day - Thalia
19. Days - Kirsty MacColl

... aaaaand there it is. My token repeated song is "Tell Me On A Sunday." Whoops. Oddly, it always seem to be in the latter half of the CDs, even though I don't MAKE them in alphabetical order. So it's not fatigue ...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Loyal Dice

Loyal Dice - my Pazia prequel story - just sold to Darwin's Evolutions! I'm stoked to see it printed in the same venue. I'm also very glad of the quick response when I've been in a pretty terrible mood.

Witch High - ed. Denise Little

(Another one of Lindsey's insanely long anthology summaries. Run.)

The description - and a very entertaining introduction by Denise Little - makes this sound like a shared world anthology: the setting is described as the same fictional highschool. So of course, I am wondering if there's any crossover between characters … but I suspect that it's merely to provide a loose common framework.

I didn't find "Domestic Magic" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch a promising beginning. This is the tale of a young highschool student, blessed or cursed with domestic-based magic, who dreams that her old nemesis is burning up kids in the cafeteria. While the premise of someone whose magic has domestic capabilities is a clever one, and I enjoyed the use of prophecy and dreams in the story, I thought it suffered from two flaws. First, there seemed no reason to use first person present tense and it was distracting. (This is certainly personal: I don't find it works unless there there is a compelling reason for it - the story is being told in motion, the narration is alien in some way, etc.) Second, the use of severe torture didn't seem to fit the tone- even considering that it dealt with some dark subject matter, that particular turn made it difficult for me to grasp the story as a cohesive whole. Overall, it just didn't work for me.

Okay, I'm biased: I love Laura Resnick's sense of humor, and "Temporal Management" was a delicious and funny adventure for me. This is the story of a (too clever) student who decides to cook up some temporal magic to get through her heavy courseload. Besides the humor of the underlying story, there are lots of small tidbits throughout that are also laugh-out-loud. This is a smart, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable story. No complaints. (Boy, when was the last time I said THAT in a review?)

Phaedra M. Weldon offers "Boil and Bubble," which, apart from having a tenuous connection to its title - I swear the phrase was inserted into the story to justify said title - was an excellent read, turning from touches of mystery to an intriguing revelation. Kyle is invited to join the illustrious Omega Society, a mysterious organization that brings in one student a year. This story was paced perfectly and had a good sense of fair play without being an easy guess. My only objection is that conclusion had some awkward obscurity, and it raised questions about how a first person narrator would be able to tell a complete story under the circumstances.

I had some trouble with "Chemistry 101" by Pamela Luzier, the story of a young fire-witch, her crush on a boy, and adventures in chemistry class. Now, I was homeschooled and I never went through a boy-crazy phase, so I may have a skewed perspective, but though I felt sympathy for the character, the narration was so heavy with highschool idiom and the character's youth that I had difficulty enjoying it. That said, there is a cute concept here about fire powers, and you really do feel for Kenina's awkwardness.

Christina F. York provides "A Perfect Ten," the first third-person story in this anthology - involving the school's cheerleading squad and one girl's concern that the lead athlete is somehow cheating with magic. The first scene - and bits of the others - were so girl-clique that I had trouble reading them. I think a little goes a long way in that regard. It settles out, however, and I really liked the main character's guy-pal. Unfortunately, the mystery in the story was way too obvious, removing much of the tension because I could see what was coming a mile away.

Jody Lynn Nye's "Another Learning Experience" is another first: a story from the point of view of a teacher … or in this case, guidance counselor who fell into the role after a history of unrepentant prank-playing. I thought the setup was light and entertaining, and I loved the story's underlying message. However, I thought that the way the character's initial conversion (from hating her job to loving it) was described leaned on the pat side - too quick. This may have been to the better, as the story seemed to end abruptly, with a relatively brief mini-conflict (and a name mistake that should have been caught in copy-editing). Because I enjoyed the first half so much, I wanted more from it.

I had great fun with Sarah Zettel's "A Family Thing." The narrator strives to rescue her friend from the clutches of her grandmother, the Black Forest Witch, who would sweep her granddaughter away to Germany to follow in her footsteps. This story has a delightful use of traditions and bloodlines - both magical and technological - and takes some unique turns. The narrator has a strong and sympathetic voice while still being a convincing teenager. My only small quibble is I thought the element that provided the final solution was perhaps just a little underplayed earlier in the story.

Debra Dixon's "Coyote Run" is an entertaining tale of a girl searching for her familiar - and finding a dark and dangerous creature in the process. This story had an intriguing premise and a sympathetic main character … and I particularly liked how a few pieces of jewelry were incorporated into the story. This was a boy-pining character who came off convincing without being irritating. It is told with long first person sections, interspersed with briefer third person sections in another POV - once I got used to this, it flowed nicely, but I'm not sure the second narrator actually added anything. Overall, the story felt too short: there were pieces (particularly the conclusion) that seemed shortened, slighted or not fleshed out.

By now, I'm starting to get the sense that there were some basic groundrules laid down for this school by the editor. I've identified a few minor elements in different stories that could be argued are mutually exclusive, but you could make a decent case for this all occurring in the same setting. Cool!

Esther Friesner is a goddess. "You Got Served" is just more proof of this. This is a frothy concoction about the woman holding the worst job in a school of magic-wielding hooligans: the lunch-lady. The humor is bright, clever and peppered with grin-worthy moments, and the denouement was delightful (if just a little too easy in one respect). I also appreciated the vivid depiction of a character who just wanted to be a chef.

I was riveted by Bill McCay's "Remedial Magic," the second truly serious tale in this anthology. Saranne comes into her own as a magic user when her mother succumbs to cancer and fades into a coma. This story strikes just the right notes for being sorrowful without being a downer, and I became truly invested in the character early on. My quibble is that I didn't see the connection between the narrator's apparent talent of sucking magic away and what her gift is eventually revealed to be.

From Pauline J. Alama comes "Homecoming Crone," an entertaining story about two outsiders who bond together to defeat the clique known only as the Wickeds. So being picked on by the popular girls and deciding to thwart them in turn is really old hat - but the other elements in this story, including the family lineages, power effects, and the significance of Homecoming, were applied in interesting and engaging ways. Maria and Holly were definitely characters to cheer for.

It took me this long to realize that the vast majority of these stories are told from the female POV. (Yeah, I know.) Is this in response / rebuttal to the Harry Potter phenomenon? Either way, I would have liked to see more magical football jocks and boy problems. However, I also noticed that all but one of the authors were female, which would partly explain the spread.

Karen Fox's "Late Bloomer" suffered a little from its placement in the anthology - while the main character's crush is cute, it feels a bit stale after several other variants of the same thing. I think if I read the story out of context, I would have enjoyed this aspect more. Luckily, the story of Abbi, the only student in school who has no apparent magical talent, has other things to recommend it. Her struggles to fit in are engaging, and even though I saw her eventual power coming about halfway through the story, the anticipation just enhanced it. This is a sweet, fun tale.

"The Price of Gold" by Sarah A. Hoyt got off to a rough start, but it drew me in with an intriguing situation, a unique talent and a lovely conclusion. Interesting contrast from the previous story, this one follows the girl who has too much magic and is ostracized because of it. She sets herself to the task of finding a missing student, son of two wealthy and influential sorcerers … who appears to have no magic himself. My issue with the opening of this tale is that the first scene (and to a lesser extent, the second scene) felt less like the narrator's thought process as someone standing above her explaining things. Other than that, nicely done.

The final story, "The House" by Diane Duane is clever with an entertaining conclusion. Unfortunately, the charming details of spellcraft, cookcraft and humor are somewhat lost to the length of the tale. Done wrong by her would-be parascience partner Arthur, Brianna cooks up - literally - an idea to recreate a certain famous fairytale house. I did appreciate the fact that this story didn't have the expected romantic subplot; it was a nice subversion at the end of the anthology.

To sum up, there are four stories I thought really shined: "Temporal Management," "Boil and Bubble," "You Got Served" and "Remedial Magic." I thought that none of the stories were really disappointing - they were all at least readable. You do get a sense that all this could have occurred in the same school, which is nicely done for fourteen authors who don't seem to have a detailed world handbook. I'm still disappointed there weren't more guy-student stories. I also noticed that the first person / third person stories were badly divided - the book was almost straight down the middle. Still, even though the anthology started and ended weak, it delivered a lot of good stories overall. Worth a read, maybe not in the order the editor intended.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Message On My Machine

This tune collection is probably the one where the songs have the least direct connection to a/the theme. It was originally conceived as a collection of songs invoking telephones and phone calls. However, when I chose to title it from Caroline ("She called me up the other day and left a message on my machine ...") I decided to expand it to letters and other forms of long distance communication. Ergo:

1. Caroline - Kirsty MacColl
2. Take It From My Heart - Anne Murray
3. There Is Nothing Like A Dame - South Pacific soundtrack
4. Misbehavin' - Thalia
5. A New England - Kirsty MacColl
6. Dr. Beat - Gloria Estefan
7. Disappear - Sahlene
8. Telefone - Sheena Easton
9. X-Girlfriend - Mariah Carey
10. Emotion - Helen Reddy
11. Drops of Jupiter - Train
12. Hotel Paper - Michelle Branch
13. I Enjoy Being A Girl - Flower Drum Song soundtrack
14. Still Within The Sound of My Voice - Linda Ronstadt
15. What Do Pretty Girls Do? - Kirsty MacColl
16. Catch My Breath - Helen Reddy
17. Catch You - Sophie Ellis-Bextor
18. Tell Me On A Sunday - Andrew Lloyd Weber sampler; Sharon Campbell
19. You Can't Treat The Wrong Man Right - Linda Ronstadt
20. Sex in the Nineties - Gloria Estefan
21. Guess You Had To Be There - Helen Reddy

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Eeep! I forgot my Thursday thoughts!

I've noticed that I've been making a lot of cross-notes through my Journal of the Dead edits - flipping back and forth and forth and back to remind myself to lay groundwork for this or come back to that. This wouldn't have been possible without the outline. I am hoping it will also come in handy when I go to write a synopsis, allowing me to perhaps cut down to the essence of the storyline.

Almost to the departure juncture in Scylla and Charybdis ... way longer than I expected it to take, but I'm on the downhill slope to it. I'm not sure if the scene in the infirmary that I'm writing right now feels forced. I'm still pleased with the emotional timbre I'm striking - I hope that will hold up when I get to the editing phase.

Longer remarks next week. I'm tired!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I've Had Enough

Fourth CD reached, "I've Had Enough" - a collection of songs about people just too frustrated to put up with their other half any further. I suppose this is similar to "Good Riddance," but seeing as that was part of the very first batch of these I burned ... surely I can be forgiven? (And in a couple cases, these songs really wouldn't have fit the other theme.) The title is a line from This Time: "This nightmare is not fair, and I've had enough."

Some shaping here: the first song starts with the question - how far do I have to go? - and ends on a much softer note - "Deceive me, hurt and mislead me, all that I wish you is love."

1. How Far - Martina McBride
2. No Second Chance - Blackmore's Night
3. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
4. Strong Enough - Cher
5. Hit The Road, Jack - Helen Reddy (version)
6. I Do - Lisa Loeb
7. Big Boy On A Saturday Night - Kirsty MacColl
8. Isobel - Dido
9. Can't Go Back - Sissel
10. Bad - Kirsty MacColl
11. Move - Dreamgirls soundtrack
12. This Time - Celine Dion
13. Bye Bye - Alana Davis
14. Who The Hell Are You - Emma Bunton
15. You're So Vain - Carly Simon
16. Nah! - Shania Twain
17. Wrong - Kimberly Locke
18. Loser - Sahlene
19. Refuse To Dance - Celine Dion
20. Not That Kind of Girl - Paulina Rubio
21. Get Over You - Sophie Ellis-Bextor
22. I Wish You - Gloria Estefan

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kudos for Fatecraft

Courtesy of a fellow writer who seems to be much better with the grapevine than I am, here's a post from about my recent story publication:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I was feeling rather bleak and hopeless: another failure at the pro level, and this time on something I was pretty sure would go through.

Then I received an acceptance from Silver Blade for one of my poems: Servant of Winter. This was my very first villanelle, an unrhymed piece that was actually done as a boot camp exercise. I'm very pleased with it. I had a back-and-forth with another editor who wanted the imagery more vivid, but ultimately, the numbness was a crucial factor to the poem for me. I'm glad to find a venue that agrees. Also! Another poem publication. I'm a poet. No, really!

The ups and downs of the last few days have left me in a strange state. I can't quite seem to pull myself out of general malaise, and I feel strange for reacting stoically to successes that would normally have me grinning. Perhaps I'm just a pessimist at heart: the failures matter, the successes don't.

It's Not That Far

CD collection #3 - reached!

This one is collection of songs about the state of the world. The title comes from Walking Down Madison and the line repeats several times, one of which is, "From the sharks in the penthouse to the rats in the basement ... it's not that far ..." This whole song has some really fantastic lyrics, however depressing.

1. Love Is All We Need - Celine Dion
2. Straight To The Point - Carrie Newcomer
3. Close My Eyes - Gloria Estefan
4. One After 909 - Helen Reddy
5. A Little Good News - Anne Murray
6. Building A Mystery - Sarah McLachlan
7. Breathe - Midge Ure
8. Always Tomorrow - Gloria Estefan
9. Something To Believe In - Sarah Brightman
10. Walk This World - Heather Nova
11. What's Forever For - Anne Murray
12. Higher - Gloria Estefan
13. There's Got To Be A Way - Mariah Carey
14. Book of Days - Enya
15. Walking Down Madison - Kirsty MacColl
16. Nobody Home - Amy Grant
17. Is Anybody There? - 1776 soundtrack (Brent Spiner)
18. What About The Love? - Amy Grant
19. Weight Of The World - Chantal Kreviazuk

Small shuffling issue, I suppose, with the two Amy Grant songs so close together, but they're sufficiently different that it's not a huge deal.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Anatomy of an Idea: Fatecraft

This is one of my favorite stories as far as how an idea came together for me.

So I had sent Soul Siblings (see below) to Black Gate - and got an encouraging rejection from the editor. The one comment he did have was that he simply saw too many stories about assassins. So, having heard that the best way to catch an editor's eye is to respond to criticisms within a couple weeks with something that addressed them ... I decided to write a story about characters who had unusual professions.

Now, I already had a daserii or dicemaker character who I happened to enjoy a great deal - I'm still trying to sell her original story. After some thought, I decided that someone who did clockwork would be interesting - but what in the world kind of plot would require those two sets of skills?

Fighting to work this out had me come up with the idea of villains who wanted to make a very powerful set of dice out of fatestone. And to keep the fatestone out of their hands (initially), I put it behind a massively complex clockwork gate. I ran into a number of other problems, including how you could create dice with changeable faces, but once I had the initial idea, I was off and running.

One thing I'm particularly pleased with in this story are the villains. I like to think that in some respects, their motivations (or one of their motivations) are sympathetic, and they have redeeming qualities. They're not just cackling black hats.

I've written a second story with Pazia and Vanchen, and somehow managed to get an equal amount of mileage out of their two skill-sets. Can I make it three? We'll see if another idea strikes.

Fatecraft now available!

It's been a long wait, but worth it! My story Fatecraft is now available at Darwin's Evolutions:

Check it out!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shelter of Daylight

Shelter of Daylight - which I think has to be one of the coolest anthology titles ever - is now available from Sam's Dot Publishing. Includes my story "The Seeds of Profit."

I wish I could remember the exact history of this idea. I just remember watching a pirate special and thinking something along the lines of, what if you focused on cargo that no one bothered to protect? That hatched this story ... and of course, I had to name the herbalist character after a specific flower, Minette (a kind of Alba).

It's definitely one of my tongue in cheek stories. I wrote it as the rash of pirate anthologies was going around, but never did submit it to any of those because it was just a little too short for their wordcounts. (Yes, I know. Me, too short for a wordcount?)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Color Everywhere

Advantage to a long drive to a gig: I've moved on the next collection. I've been trying to do a color collection for ages and never had quite enough songs. I finally crossed it - and the title here is the name of the first song. Where the color isn't obvious from the title, I've inserted it.

Disclaimer about any of these sets: a few of them, I had to cut a song to get it on a single CD and I can't recall which / which song. So figure any list is about ninety-five percent accurate. ;-)

1. Color Everywhere - Dian Diaz
2. Big Yellow Taxi - Amy Grant
3. Greensleeves - Blackmore's Night
4. Blue Black - Heather Nova
5. Out of the Blue - Debbie Gibson
6. Pot of Gold - Dian Diaz
7. White Flag - Dido
8. Carribean Blue - Enya
9. Wrapped - Gloria Estefan (blue)
10. A Boat Like Gideon Brown - Great Big Sea
11. A Question of Honor - Sarah Brightman (black and white)
12. Golden Heart - Kirsty MacColl
13. Who Painted The Moon Black - Hayley Westenra
14. Writing on the Wall - Blackmore's Night (black / rainbow and the phrase "when will your true colors show")
15. Orange Express - Gloria Estefan
16. Blue - Helen Reddy
17. Wearing White - Martina McBride
18. Blue Caravan - Vienna Teng
19. Runaway - Sahlene ("which colors to wear to laugh or cry" - red)
20. A Whiter Shade of Pale - Sarah Brightman
21. One Short Day - Wicked soundtrack (green. LOTS of green.)

I'm surprised how many blue songs I seem to have. Hrm.

I've got to comment briefly on Blackmore's Night rendition of Greensleeves. Now, much as I love it personally, Greensleeves has got to be the ultimate Elizabethan cliche. So really, if you play that genre of music, it's reached the point where you might as well just say, "Pretend we played Greensleeves," and get on with it. However, if you absolutely must do Greensleeves, this is an excellent way to record it. There's a lively beat sequence and an ooh chorus that (for me) evokes some very vivid imagery.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Child Full of Promises

Swapped my car-listening music around again and this time decided that for my CD titles, I was going to use a line from one of the songs that related to the theme. So first off - a collection of songs about (directly or tangentially) children and the next generation. "Child Full of Promises" is a reference to Evacuee, and the line is particularly, "All I am: a child full of promises. All I have are miles full of promises of home ..."

As always, I try to open with a song that feels like it kicks things off and close with something that leads elsewhere.

1. Darling, Let's Have Another Baby - Kirsty MacColl
2. Roots and Wings - Anne Murray
3. Wait For The Healing - Amy Grant
4. Coulda Been - Kimberly Locke
5. Children of the Revolution - Kirsty MacColl
6. Sarah's Song - Sissel
7. Crickets Sing for Anamaria - Emma Bunton
8. Eve - Chantal Kreviazuk
9. Immortality - Celine Dion
10. Wild Child - Enya
11. The Woman in Me - Crystal Gayle
12. Curious Thing - Amy Grant
13. Hijo De La Luna - Sarah Brightman
14. She's Not Just A Pretty Face - Shania Twain
15. How Can We See That Far - Amy Grant
16. This One's For The Girls - Martina McBride
17. Evacuee - Enya
18. Angie Baby - Helen Reddy
19. One Name - Gloria Estefan
20. Older Than My Years - Cherie

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Once Met a Man With a Sense of Adventure ...

He was dressed to thrill wherever he went.
He said, "Let's make love on a mountaintop,
Under the stars on a big hard rock."
I said, "In these shoes? I don't think so ..."

My story entitled "In These Shoes" just sold to Staffs and Starships! The story has nothing whatsoever to do with the Kirsty MacColl song that inspired the title - really. It's about an assassin and involves the shoes she traditionally wears for a kill.

In trying to input this into my website, I realized that my links were a visual mess. I played around with all sorts of ways of reformatting - I even had one of my fractals as a BG. The only thing I knew is I had to get rid of the dark-background-white-text, because it was a pain in the neck to update. After about an hour of fiddling, I finally went with the KISS method (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and went with a very subtle blue-flecked white BG and dark text.

Check it out if you like.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Oh, right. It's Thursday.

Journal of the Dead - ran into an amusing error when editing one of the spirit stories. To whit: ... hey, wait, I have pistols in this world ... making notes on back-edits was fairly simple, but I have a feeling it's going to alter a lot of the remaining pages as well. The changes won't be major, they'll just be frequent and annoying.

I hate guns. Seriously.

In full-out panic mode about the length of Scylla and Charybdis. I am very pleased with everything I've done, just not how long it has taken to do it. It does make me aware why a few editors seemed to think the original short story needed to end when they left the station ... there's an incredible amount of meat there.

I have a very messy and confusing muddle in regards to computers and phones. I have an aural link which I was originally just thinking as an intercom, and now I realize with technology several centuries later, it's likely it would be a combo phone / PDA / system link ... and on Themiscyra, that would mean you could effectively access the entire world from a little widget behind your ear. Anyhow, I haven't explained any of this directly (... and I kind of keep changing my mind about what it's supposed to do) so this may be one of those things that gets a major clean-up in editing.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Shiny Stones

Like a raven, I pluck shiny stones ...

So my villanelle - actually, literally the first I wrote that rhymed - by the title of Shiny Stones is now official in Aoife's Kiss March 2009. I'm stoked to see it in print: the magazine is beautiful, very classy-looking. Haven't had a chance to read anything else in it yet.

A bit about the poem - I wrote the opening three lines (if two lines is a couplet, and four lines is a quatrain, what is three? A triolet? I must look that up) and then realized I had picked a really difficult rhyme scheme: owns / stones versus trove. Finding words that wove into the "storyline" made this a very interesting poem to write. The through-line is about a thief who steals from the nobility and what she / he does with the ill-gotten gains.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I've now reached the journal section of Journal of the Dead, and I do have a few places marked for major revision, add notes about XYZ ... so far, I feel as if I'm in control and making the changes that I wanted far more extensively than if I had chosen a less in-depth editing method.

Looking at my notes before I started writing the novel, I had a few additional named spirits. Now editing, I am glad I removed them. Trying to keep Davius, Parik, Kazhe, Parashi, Ihseye and Astennu distinct in my main character's head is quite enough ... and I'm fairly sure I don't always succeed with Ihseye. (For those who are curious, all female names have an h in them, usually silent: so the middle three are ladies.) If I were up to a sweeping edit, I might remove her - but she's one of the sorcerers and I need her magic. Ahem.

Another idle note about the naming conventions: I had decided at the beginning that female names usually end with an i or an e, and almost never a ... wow, you wouldn't believe how hard that is for a Western brain. Consonant endings are supposed to be almost exclusively male-only, but I do have one break from that later - Atsihl. Anyhow, it definitely provides a flavor to the names.

As for Scylla and Charybdis ... ow. Major ethical dilemma as to what Anaea tells her best friend, who has pleaded with her not to explore the mysteries of the station, but you can't tell her nothing, it's a serious breach of trust (and hypocritical besides) if she lies, it is emotionally damaging if she tells the truth ... at the suggestions of some folks on my writers' board, I decided to make an expansion to handle this, but ...

Now I worry about the pacing of the whole novel. Over 10,000 words, and I'm still on Themiscyra. After that I have eight (!) sections tentatively planned: a brief stop in the male-civ, a brief stop in the female-civ, an interlude in the Sanctum (from whence Gwydion came) before Anaea decides she isn't going to flee madly from hiding only to return there; an arc in the male-civ where she's just trying to live and let live; an arc in the female-civ ditto; a return to the male-civ with more active intentions; a return to the female-civ ditto ... and then a mad rush back to Themiscyra for close. This last bit may change depending on how the intervening goes - heck, the second half may change depending on how the preceding goes.

Anyhow, if each of these comes out long? I have an unwieldy, unsaleable novel.

I've told myself not to worry about it: I can come back and edit out, even reshape the early plot, if I need to, but trying to artificially truncate would do more harm to the beginning than letting it run long would.

Still ... argh.