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    first review in!

    If you will recall, I gave away four ARCs of BABA YAGA’S DAUGHTER on the condition that the winners review the collection and make their reviews publicly available. Mela-Lyn has posted the first of these. Thank you, Mela!

    Today was something of a flop on the writing front. Last night in my haste to finish up, I made a bad storytelling choice (I made things too easy again). This morning I got up, got started, slowed down, got slower…ground to a stop…stared at it a while…deleted 1300 words, and brought the book down below 35K again. Well, I was Not Stopping There, so I did get back up to 35K before quitting for the morning, but 1700 words of writing only netted a 300 word increase on the manuscript. Frustrating.

    Afternoon word wars went a little better, but the sleepies had me, so really, overall, not a great writing day. At least I didn’t totally negate yesterday’s big work by doing *nothing* today. :p

    37006 / 70000 words. 53% done!

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    halfway there

    “I’m going to go outside and write another 800 words,” I said, picking up my laptop a moment ago.

    “How many will that put you at?” the audience enquired politely.

    “35,000,” I said.

    There was a pause while everyone stared at me, as they knew I finished yesterday at 25.5K. “How many words to 35,000?” asked my mother.

    “Eight hundred,” I said, and a low whistle went ’round the room.

    “You da man,” Dad said.

    “I am,” said I, and came outside to work. :)

    I installed Freedom on the computer a couple weeks ago, and have been using it assiduously the past week while I’ve been writing. I’ve also been doing what Twitter hashtags as 1k1h, ie, a word war challenge to write a thousand words in an hour. The combination has been…enlightening. I’ve more or less stopped alt-tabbing to try to check Twitter now, and I’m averaging about 1200, maybe 1300 words per hour, as opposed to around 900 with 30 minute wars. Clearly the Internet is evil, and writing for an hour straight is a more effective use of my time than 30 minute wars. Yes indeed. Less sociable, but way, way more words on the page. That’s good.

    (I have not, however, broken myself of the habit of obsessively checking the wordcount tool…*checks*)

    35114 / 70000 words. 50% done!

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    words, glorious words

    The Tesla Museum crowdfund broke a million dollars yesterday. Everything they make above and beyond money to purchase the land will go to preparing the land, building the museum–however far the money will take them, that’s how far they’ll go. Me, I’m hoping it hits $2.5m.

    Yesterday or the day before I said to Ted that I was having a strange experience writing this novel: I keep feeling like I want to go *read* and find out what happens next, rather than writing it to find out what happens next. I’ve never had that particular mindset before. V. strange. I guess I want to find out what happens. :)

    Today we did nothing in particular, because we needed to shop for food. That took up the morning, and the afternoons are just too damned hot to think. So I’ve been writing all day, and if I can convince myself to stop dorking around writing a blog post I’ll maybe finish this last chapter before bed.

    (moments later): feck it. That’s a chapter end. It may not be the right one, and the chapter is short, but it works because it gives me a launch point for the morning’s writing. If there’s a better chapter end I’ll find it tomorrow. A 7K day is enough. Especially when I’m melting.

    25418 / 70000 words. 36% done!

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    Churchbells ring like crazy at a quarter to eight, here. It gives one the impression that the village had best be up and about by now, not lying around like lazy slug-a-beds. :)

    We had not planned any French Adventures yesterday, as my parents were arriving for their part of this vacation. I’d thought I could get quite a lot of writing done. Sadly, poor Young Indiana had a French Adventure of his own and was sick all of Tuesday night, so yesterday was pretty much a total wash. He’s feeling better now, poor lil guy.

    Today we went to the citadel of Carcassonne, which is utterly amazing. It’s a walled citadel dating from the 1200s, although it apparently fell into huge disrepair and was totally restored in the mid-1800s. I could spend two weeks in the citadel alone. It’s just stunning. We ran out of steam before seeing the inner citadel and the cathedral, so we may actually go back, since it’s not like we’re going to see Everything here anyway. But wow, so completely awesome. And so very–

    See, some years ago, not long after moving to Dublin, I came around a corner into an alleyway that was filled by two mounted policemen. It was an extremely startling, and for me as a fantasy novelist, visceral, encoutner. One reads about that all the time in books, but actually experiencing the unexpected size and breadth of the horses, and the fairly significant height of the riders, within the context of an actual medieval streetway, is pretty powerful. And Carcassonne’s citadel is filled with streets that are only just a little wider than a man’s reach, so putting those two pieces of physically-experienced imagery together gains increasing impact. Add to it the awareness that the streets were mucky, not cobbled, and filled with people–10,000 at Carcassonne’s medieval peak–and the reality of the cities you’re trying to build becomes all the more vivid. It’s wonderful.

    And then there were sudden open spaces: market places, I imagine, or that’s certainly what they’re cast as in the cityscape of my mind. A single dominating church, with a huge courtyard of its own and broad streets leading to it, but all the streets leading to the broad one are narrow and twisty. I’m loving it.

    Also, because so much fantasy seems to draw on French language in particular and culture in general, there’s a part of my mind that sees all the signs and notices in French and just sort of…thinks it’s in an epic fantasy novel. *laughs*

    Through sustained effort I reached 15K on this book. Again. 3rd time. Said as much to my husband, who said, “Good. Now just do that 5 more times and you’ll be done.” *laughs* I’m not sure that was *exactly* the response I was looking for, but hey… :)

    18617 / 70000 words. 27% done!

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    french holidays

    Shortly after writing this morning’s post, I observed the guy next door coming out and dumping a honey pot over the back wall of his balcony. I realize this is a medieval town, but dear *God*.

    Today’s French Adventure was going in search of the Saint Hilaire Abbey, which after getting completely lost for the second time in a row using Google Maps we vowed to never do again and found the abbey on our own by using, you know. A regular map.

    Anyway, the abbey was … incredibly peaceful, actually. I could see wanting to retreat there for contemplative and quiet time. It’s in tremendously good repair, with a 13th century church on the grounds that has either never fallen apart or has been put back together beautifully. There’s a room with some of the most astounding acoustics I’ve ever heard, with a small murder-hole like thing where the speaker would sit and speak normally and his voice would echo all over the room. It’s astonishing.

    The abbey is apparently the first place that ever made sparkling wine, back before they called it/invented champagne, and there’s an old cave cellar where they stored the wine and it’s about forty degrees (F) cooler than the outside temperature, which is a huge relief when it’s 96 degrees. :)

    Also, my 2 year old son was flirting with a 25 year old French girl who worked there, and she said to me, “Those big blue eyes, that intense look. He’s going to be trouble when he’s a teenager. Congratulations, Grandma!” *headdesk & laughter*

    Two utterly cool crowdfunds: MOLLY DANGER, a Kickstarter about a 10 year old superhero, and Let’s Build a Goddamed Tesla Museum, which is raising funds for the purchase of the land Tesla’s last lab was built on, in order to secure them for, yes, building a goddamned Tesla Museum. This is probably the MOST AWESOME CROWDFUND EVER.

    12258 / 70000 words. 18% done!

    Decent progress, but it’s not going to get the book done on holiday.

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