Stock & Flow

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I came across an interesting blog the other day, and while I’m still reading the archives, one post, in particular, stood out for me.

A Few Notes On Daily Blogging

It stood out because the concept of stock and flow really intrigued me. While I think the concept would be more productive for a non-fiction writer, I think fiction could benefit as well. How? Well, if one is thinking about dabbling in a genre they do not currently write in, the blog could be used as a place to house snippets of scenes in that genre. Bits of conversations, random scene setting…it can all be used as a yardstick…to see if one has something to say in that genre.

Or not.

I think it’s worth a try here, although I don’t expect it to be a daily thing. Perhaps twice-weekly. I suppose it all comes down to how often inspiration strikes.

We’ll see.

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Writing From The Middle and Other Revelations

 

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An essay I read this morning has stunned me.

It was a sizeable piece by Sarah Minor, called What Quilting and Embroidery Can Teach Us About Narrative Form It caught my eye because not only does the craft of writing interest me, but I’m also a fibre crafter. I dabble in cross stitch and am a long-time knitter. So needless to say, I read the essay with high hopes. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember most of the piece, but one concept rocked me so much, I had to put down my breakfast and re-read the passage.  Minor wrote,

“This centre could be the most significant or challenging moment in an essay. From there, the process of “piecing” a text, rather than writing it in a straight line, could free the writer from concerns about repetition, foundations, and chronology. “

These two lines made me stop because I’m in the middle of my novel and for many months I’ve been unsure how to proceed. I knew where I wanted to end up, you would think it would be an easy thing to get to the end. But no, I was stumped. And didn’t write a word for six months, not counting grocery lists. I couldn’t see how to write the middle because I was looking at the work in a chronological fashion.

Now, that’s a little odd for me, because some of my best work (in my opinion) has not been written that way. The work I’m proudest of has come to me in snippets of scenes, or conversations between characters, or moments of intense stress and conflict. I write them down, in chunks, and then thread them all together. Rarely has writing in a chronological way ever worked for me.

So why then was I trying to write ‘Infinite Worlds’  in, for me, an un-natural format?

I have no idea.

But it has mired me for six months.

So to read Sarah Minor’s words of wisdom this morning was a lightbulb moment. I read the passage twice before literally leaving my chair with coffee in hand. I went to the window, dog close behind, and stared out at the grey sky. The clouds provided no further wisdom, but it was clear I needed to return to what moved my writing. Not so much write what I know, but write in a way that worked for me.

So that’s the plan.

Now if I could only get to the bottom of Chancellor Roberts…

 

The Lily & The Crown

 

This book is so much more than what I thought, and even though I wanted to stop reading it at some points, I never did. The characters had gotten under my skin too much to abandon them.
At first, I found Ari infuriating. She seems to be withdrawn and insulated, and she is, to a point. But she is also passionate about things she believes in, and courageous when she doesn’t have to be. She has a hidden intellect and feels so much so readily. I liked her far more than I thought I did. And her ‘Assistant’….how many times I wished she’d been given a name when she was so unwilling to share her own. She was crafty and kind, and yet, the reader can always feel the pulse of mystery. You know she’s going to do something, we’re just not sure what. And yet, when the big mystery is finally revealed (even though by that time, we suspect the truth anyway), we aren’t surprised.
I enjoyed that neither of the main characters changed with their circumstances. I liked that Ari asked for her friends’ lives to be spared, even though that came as no surprise either. And I especially enjoyed the ending. I won’t give anything away, but it was the perfect ending for these characters. It was everything I didn’t realize I was hoping for…until I read it and realized I was hoping for exactly that.
And I loved this line the best of all of them…

“We cannot change the world unless we have lived in it”

Dancing Between Details And The Story

This blog has been neglected for long enough I think.

 

It’s been left to its own devices primarily because my internal monologue that was driving work on my novel….stopped.

Well, changed at least.

It was no longer about a team of women trying to effect a rescue on another planet, in another universe. I was getting caught up in details and I lost sight of the larger story. Now, for me, telling stories is a fine dance between details and entertainment. And when I stumbled trying to dance…I stopped.

But I haven’t stopped. That hardy and brave team stuck on another planet so foreign to them hasn’t left my mind.

I’m still working out how to get them home.

So bear with me, and them. We think they’ve nearly stumbled on an idea. We just need to chase it down and tie it up so it can’t get away again.

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Introducing My LesFic: Great Deals On Lesbian Fiction, by Harper and Caroline

Finally, lesbian fiction readers and authors have a focused tool at our disposal!

Women and Words

Hey, everybody! Harper Bliss stopped by with her wife Caroline to tell us about a new project they’ve launched that I’m pretty sure you’re gonna be interested in.

So let’s check it out!

Introducing My LesFic: Great Deals On Lesbian Fiction

Show of virtual hands: how many of you enjoy reading lesbian fiction? How many of you like to take advantage of a discount? How many of you are subscribed to BookBub or a similar service so you can combine both? How many of you are satisfied with how many lesbian fiction books you find in these promotional emails?
The number of raised hands was probably close to zero for the fourth question. If book promotion services have any LGBT books at all, they’re usually of the m/m variety.

This is a problem that we experience, both as readers and as writers/publishers.
I think most lesfic writers will agree that…

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A Cold Day For Murder – Review

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I finished reading this in the wee hours of this morning and was quite irked to find I didn’t have enough cash in the amazon account to buy the next one right away. Probably a hidden blessing since I didn’t get much sleep last night. anyway, on with the review!

This was the first book I’ve ever read of Dana’s, and I went into it knowing that frequently a first book in a series is slower than sap. There was a slow start, but I don’t mind those. I often felt like there was a book that should have come before this one that I missed. But I stuck with it. Stabenow’s writing is easy-going, pleasant and highly readable. Her characters are all unique, even Mutt. With one exception. The investigator sent after Miller kind of disappeared into the literary bush. I loved the way the author set the reader in scenes, whether Kate’s homestead, or Bernie’s Bar or her grandmother’s house.
The ending I was not so fond of. Yes, Miller’s disappearance storyline was wrapped up nicely. Made sense and all that, but after that? WTH? I had to check to make sure I wasn’t reading the teaser for the next book. Made no sense.
All that being said, I will buy the next book, because I want to see what happens next to Kate, and Mutt, lol. and because I have hopes that the next book will be better.
One down, 20 more to read!

The Continuing Saga of Zip Harrington, Asteroid Ornament

After padding along a near-silent and empty hall for what seemed a lifetime, Zip finally came upon an opening in the featureless wall. He peered in and pulled his head back out quickly so it couldn’t be used for some sort of alien target practice. When no shots came, he peered in again.

A table was set, and behind it sat an old man, who looked back at Zip with a steady gaze.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

Zip looked carefully at the rest of the room to ensure there were no others waiting with weapons.

“You have my word, you will not be harmed.”

Zip took a cautious step in and was surprised to find the floor warm. He looked at the floor quickly and then back up at the old man. “What kind of game is this?”

“No games. We simply do not see the point in warming spaces that we do not linger in.”

Zip, space mercenary, afraid of no one, took a hesitant step inside the room.

“Come and eat, you must be hungry,” the old man gestured to the tabletop.

Zip studied his companion before sitting down. There was no way to guess at his age, his skin looked more like aged leather than flesh. His skull was longer than any human Zip had ever met, but he had eyes the shade of blue many women back on Earth would have killed for. He wore robes swirled with many colours, shot through with silver threads reminiscent of nebulas.

“I have given you my word that you will not be harmed,” the stranger gestured to the seat across from him. “That includes the food. You will find it surpasses anything you had back on Earth.”

“Yeah, you’ve given me your word, alright, but I don’t know who you are, so I don’t know that your word means much, do I?” Zip said while approaching the table.

 

“I am called D’Rar, of the Merudue. This is my ship and my crew. My word means a great deal among my people,” D’Rar lifted the cover off one of the dishes in front of him and the smell of meatloaf wafted up to make Zip’s stomach growl again.

“Humans bodies make strange noises when they have not taken sustenance for some time,” D’Rar observed. “Perhaps you should silence it before it turns on you.”

Zip chuckled, in spite of himself.

D’Rar took all the covers off the dishes spread out on the table, revealing all of Zip’s favorites from home. “We have gone to great lengths to ensure you would enjoy these. Please do not waste those efforts.”

“Fine…” Zip sat across from his host, picked up a scoop-shaped instrument and took a tentative taste of the dish in front of him. It was indeed meatloaf, and it was wonderful.

Zip dug into the dish with no further hesitation, speaking before he’d swallowed. “This is great, but why go through all this, just for me? I was almost dead.”

“We have saved you so that you might do a small favor for us.”

“Yeah? What’s that?” Zip asked as he eyed something that looked like creamed corn.

 

“We wish to hire you to remove the K’erini.”

“Who’s that, another captain that opposed you or something?” Zip asked as he took a bite of sweet watermelon.

“The K’erini have been my people’s enemies for generations. They steal our young, destroy our outposts, murder us in our sleep if they can find us…we wish them…eliminated.”

“Wait,” Zip held up a hand and swallowed his mouthful of food. “You want me to kill an enemy race that is capable of destroying whole outposts?”

“That is correct.” D’Rar replied with a beatific smile.

To be continued!

Comments are always welcome!