Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

Galley for Flow - received!

Of course, I am hacking my lungs out and too tired to look at it except cross-eyed ...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

GoodReads Review: The Virgin In The Ice

The Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #6)The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis Peters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Deeply rooted in the turmoil of the war between Empress Maud and King Stephen in the 1100s, The Virgin In The Ice poses Brother Cadfael with a number of puzzles: a frozen angel, a wounded monk, and missing young nobles whose guardian is on the wrong side of the fighting. These mysteries collide with the threatening presence of a band of marauders.

As ever, this episode in Cadfael's chronicles is steeped in history and poetry, written with a thoughtful, pensive air - eminently appropriate for events seen through the monk's penetrating eyes. (That this extends to the other point of view characters merely maintains the cohesion of the novel.) That the mystery is perhaps less important to this novel than to others in the series makes it no less compelling a story. There is also a secondary "mystery" that offers an important and satisfying revelation into Cadfael's history.

However, there are certain patterns to these novels that can be viewed as detractions, and it is nowhere more evident than during the battle scene of this book. The writing style can best be described as elegant detachment - neither of which makes for a compelling fight or fights. This takes away somewhat from the climax of the scene.

That said, this book delivers a solid and satisfying reading experience overall ... and ends with a warming note of hope, for all the darkness.

View all my reviews

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

More thoughts on the love story ...

Looking at my tendencies in writing, I've often created stories where there's a tension between the character's role in life - not just their occupation, but the thing which defines and drives them - and a romantic interest. I don't, personally, believe that trading what you love for who you love is a fair or healthy exchange, and I think that's reflected a lot in my fiction.

This was, in fact, a huge issue with Who Wants To Be A Hero? ... where this potential conflict arises and, not only couldn't I see my way clear to writing my female lead choosing the love interest over (removed for spoilers), I couldn't see him allowing her to do so. It took much of the novel (knowing it was coming and planning ahead) to work out how I was going to handle it. It turned out to be a solution that was eminently appropriate to the format.

It's something that would be central to the rewrite-project-of-doom I had pondered, as arguably, most of the plot arc is catalyzed by a romance story - the villain's.

By the way, Unnatural Causes is still tabled - I want to come back to it when I have room to devote my full attention.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

My brainpower has been consumed of late by lack of sleep: I have a new puppy, who while delightful and entertaining, also has yet to acquire the knack of sleeping through the night and tends to be quite vocal about her desire to get up. So the writing and editing has been slow going. Confessedly, some of my energy has been going to a roleplaying game ... but that's all right, I figure. Instant feedback, flexibility, collaboration ...

I miss collaborative writing, as well. It was always an enjoyable process, if bumpy - because I'm an incubator, coming with ideas over a long brew-time, brainstorming tended to be lopsided. I used to spur partners on by asking question after question after ... they must have started to think I couldn't speak in anything else. Surely that's not right?

Another reason to procrastinate, though, is that Scylla and Charybdis is approaching the point where I've got no choice but to tackle the dreaded synopsis ...

Monday, December 05, 2011

For Your Reading Pleasure ...

My "Burning The Midnight Oil" is now available in the current edition of NewMyths! Check it out ...

This story started as an FWO monthly challenge to write about an odd couple of some kind. I saw the topic its one couple and raised it a second ...

Thursday, December 01, 2011

A Sale and a Release

I just sold "Three Great Loyalties" to Niteblade! Nice affirmation from the editor: she said the vote to include it from the slush readers was unanimous (apparently this is rare).

And ... my story "The Changeling Letter" is now out in the current issue of Sorcerous Signals! ( Check it out, enjoy, and please vote for your issue favorite.