family, food, funny
Nephew: Excuse me? I have an important question. How powerful is Captain Britain? Could he beat Superman?
Me, having already described the “the one who serves the story best” aspect of this kind of question and delighted to be asked: I *believe* CB’s power is drawn from the spirit of the British people, so potentially yes but probably only under certain circumstances.
Nephew: Right, great, okay. How about Captain Britain against Juggernaut?
Me: They’d go toe to toe.
Nephew departs, totally happy ♥ :)
I made Blackberry Pi on Monday, in celebration of Pi Day. It set up *perfectly* and is a wonderful blend of tart and smooth. SO NUMMY!
This morning I made Lazy Baker’s Cinnamon Rolls, which is to say, I used storebought puff pastry for the dough. I thought they were rather wonderful, although the other people in the house thought the regular ones with homemade dough are better. Ted, however, conceded that this was a lot *easier*. :)
Last summer I said, for some reason, that I had quite a lot of grey hair at my temples. Dad, to whom I was speaking, said, “Nah, that’s just the sunlight hitting it,” then leaned forward for a better look and was like, “…oh, no, wow, you’re right, you really do…”
It’s possible I should stop bleaching my hair for the movie-style Rogue stripe and go with Classic Rogue, streaked at the temples, since that’s what my hair is doing anyway. Although it *does* have a movie-style streak of white. It’s just that it’s in the middle of my head–you can see it in the part, in this picture–rather than at the front. You had ONE JOB, hair…!
“Mmmm,” Indy said, breathing in the scent of the new book, “it smells like fresh ink!”
And last, because the above was clearly not enough pictures, I’ve done another couple pages in the Elfquest coloring book, and the second page of the graphic novel ‘coloring book’. The latter is actually really satisfying because I can do a panel and feel like I’ve Accomplished Something, but the color on all of these is particularly bad because I just took photos instead of trying to scan them in. The originals are prettier. :)
This was a lot of purple. It really doesn’t look like it, it looks more heavily green here, but it’s a *lot* of purple.
I did this all in one day, of which I am disproportionately proud. Apparently I really am five. And the colors are so much nicer for real than in the photo, but oh well. Also, does anybody else worry about Savah and her skinny neck holding that giant gold plate on her head all the time, or is that just me…?
I’m going to try to get to a convention with the Pinis sometime and get them to sign this thing. Even if I only have twelve pages done. :)
Reader Questions: process & projects
Joliene asks: [What] drives your writing and keeps the juices flowing? What are the project ideas you have in the works, now that The Walker Papers is being put to bed???
Occasionally what my publisher is looking for drives my writing ideas–that’s what prompted the Strongbox Chronicles, for example, and it’s behind one of the projects I’m putting together now.
Far more often, though, it’s a random comment or thought that ends up getting terribly out of control. :) I’ve mentioned before that the Walker Papers were born out of my husband looking out the airplane window as we descended into Seattle and saying, “What do you suppose someone would do if they were flying into a city like this and saw someone running for their lives on the street below? What if they were running from the Wild Hunt?”
The rest, as we know, is history. :)
As for what drives the actual writing? The sit down and get it done part? Overwhelming ambition, I suppose. Insane levels of focus. A desire to write over doing almost anything else. The fact that I only get paid if I write, just like anybody else only gets paid if they do their job…
What keeps the juices flowing is at least partly trying new things. That’s part of why I’m doing MAGIC & MANNERS–I really, really enjoy trying new voices and trying to tell stories in different ways. (STONE’S THROE was huge fun for that reason.)
And that (to segue into the last question) is a lot of why I’m not planning any urban fantasy for the immediate future. I’ve written 5 series in the past 10 years. 4 of them have been contemporary and 3 of them have been urban fantasy, or, to put it another way, I’ve published (or am soon to publish) 24 books, 16 of which have been urban fantasy.
That’s a lot of urban fantasy. o.O
So right now my agent is shopping around a YA epic fantasy series, the one I’ve been working on for my nephew. It’s something totally different and it’s been a lot of fun to write. I also have two more proposals in the works, both of which are profoundly different from anything I’ve published. Right now they’re still so fresh I’m disinclined to talk about them much, but if they go to the agent and then out to the editors, I’ll tell people what they are. :)
Reader Questions: Doing it all
Thirzah asks keeping kick-ass real? Why is it ok to have a hero/ine shoot people in fiction, when we’re opposed to guns & violence in real life?
Well, I write about a god-fighting shaman, so I’m not sure how *real* I keep kick-ass, but… :)
I think it’s all right for us to explore violence in fiction precisely because we don’t in real life. It’s a way for us to imagine and experience things we actually really hope we don’t encounter in real life. A lot of fiction is about heightening experiences, or exploring the dark/scary/interesting places in our own heads, and getting the thrill of the visceral reaction to it without, y’know, being a murderer. Or getting a sword stuffed through us, or whatever.
Thirzah also asks: Also! How [do you] write a zillion books, post a billion posts, walk a trillion steps, raise a small child and *still* get time to go to the cinema?!
Pretty sure this isn’t actually the part of the question Thirzah expected me to answer in depth, but I’m going to.
I have not, in fact, written a zillion books since having a small child. I’ve written…*stops to count*…6. (shaman rises, stone’s throe, mountain echoes, skymaster, seamaster, baba yaga’s daughter, because somebody’s gonna ask.)
Okay. Six is quite a few books in 4 years. I’ll grant anybody that. However, it’s 1.5 books a year, and previous to having a child I was writing a lot closer to 3.5 books a year.
A while back, I put forth a general call for questions about writing that people might want to ask me, and, er, I just remembered that I had the list stored, so I thought I’d answer one! :)
Heather asks: Character inspirations – from whom did you draw the personality traits of Joanne, Gary, Morrison, Margrit, Alban, Janx, Daisani, etc.
This one’s particularly entertaining because Heather’s a high school friend of mine who has never been able to see herself or anybody she knows in any of my characters, so is wondering if she missed anybody. :)
She hasn’t, actually. There’s a school of thought which says “I am writer, insult me and I will eviscerate you in prose.” I’m much more of the “insult me and I totally won’t ever write you into anything” school of thought, because why would I want to reward somebody I didn’t like with that kind of presence in my books? But in fact, there are very few characters who are based on anybody I know, or even amalgamations of them.
As it happens, Gary *is* based, extremely loosely, on a totally awesome cab driver I met in Kenai. An old dude named, I think, Bill, who it turned out was friends with my maternal grandmother and had some great stories about her that he shared with me while driving me around town one day. Anyway, he was a tremendously good-hearted soul, and an old man, and full of vigor and kindness, and he’s a great deal of where Gary came from. I’ve no idea, of course, if he’d have been so phlegmatic in the face of magic as Gary is, but that’s fiction for you.