Who doesn’t love a good love story? The journey of a pair of lonely souls destined to fall for one another, to find themselves in each other, to live Happily Ever After?
But at the end of every happy ending, the writer in me cannot help but ask:
“What happens next?”
What lies beyond the ever after? Where does the long road lead next?
My stories are about finding soulmates…and losing them again. Relationships that spiral from magic to despair and back again. Remembrance. Longing. Darkness. Following your heart even if you have to break it first.
As one poet described it: “Love’s strength standeth in love’s sacrifice”.
I’ve actually sat down several times in the last few months thinking, “I should probably update the blog…” But inevitably I would think of something more pressing I needed to do, like work on a picture or write or…etc. Which is why it’s now May
I’ve managed to keep up my goal of churning out two NW pics per month, although I’ll admit that’s getting harder. I think I left off here at Mermaids…? So, in the order they were done:
Slow, Love, Slow:
And I’m currently in the middle of Scaretale. I’m kind of excited about being almost finished with Imaginaerum…with the exception of Song of Myself, which I’m planning to redo on a more epic scale. I’ll finally be able to line up each image and look at the flow of things, start making decisions about how to pull each of these disparate songs together thematically.
(This is why it’s actually a good thing I happened to start this project with Imaginaerum…of all their albums, this one is probably the most thematically tight, with Century Child close behind it.)
After I finish Scaretale, I’m doing While Your Lips Are Still Red as a tribute to Anette, and then I’m going straight into Once. Higher Than Hope and Creek Mary’s Blood are first, since I’ve been looking forward to putting those together.
In the writing realm, meanwhile:
Whoever reads this will probably notice my bad habit of flip-flopping between writing projects. Yeah, I do this. It’s bad. I probably shouldn’t.
I’m going to use the rest of the year to try and crank out The Mask of Eldermarch. I know, I know, I said I was going to work on Grimms, yada, yada. Yes, Grimms is still on the table. But ultimately…I want to write novels. I have so many really awesome novel ideas sitting in my queue, and the only way they’re ever going to get anywhere is if I sit down and write them, one at a bloody time.
The bones of Mask were laid before I started Shades, seven-ish years ago…it’s really about bloody time I got that one done, you know? If I can put Mask behind me, I can sit down and work my way through This Chosen Fate, and if I can do that, I can finally start on Dragon Singer. I’ve been itching to get on that one. I can finally write Dog Prince, Lotus Beach, Whither Thou Goest…all these ideas and characters that have been just gathering dust. I’d like to get started on my epic before I get too old, heh heh…not to mention the other idea for an epic I had recently.
(I could even combine them… O_O As Gru would say, “Lightbulb.” Aaaand, Ima can of worms that right now.)
Anyway, I’ve been trying to write 1000 words a day on Mask. It’s not much, but I figure if I can do that more or less every day, I could finish a draft in four-ish months. That’s not bad.
However, this summer is all up in the air, so to speak, because a large chunk of it may be taken up with moving.
Ah yes, news! The hubby and I decided to start looking for a house, as it’s gotten to the point where it would be costing us about the same to rent as it would to pay on a mortgage. We actually only started the process about three weeks ago, but we’ve made an offer on a house we liked and the owner approved it. However, it’s a short sale house, so now we’ve got to wait for Bankrupt of America to also give their go-ahead. This, we are told, could take a few months…but when it does go through, they will want to close quickly, so we’ll need to be ready.
I imagine I won’t be getting much creative stuff done if we’re in the midst of inspectors and painting and packing and moving and unpacking.
But we’ll have a house. I am so not complaining
I did manage to finish Turn Loose the Mermaids before the end of last month, keeping me on my two-per-month quota.
Went with a Lady of Shallot theme with this one, as it fit so well with the mood of the song. I’m not quite as pleased with it as I was with Storytime, mostly because of the tree leaves…but it came out pretty well. Read more…
First of all, I have to say kudos to Mr. Sanderson. Finishing this series must have been a bear of a task, and he did a fantastic job with it.
Secondly, this has been a horribly unproductive week for me, and I’m placing the blame squarely on that book. Good books are awful like that: even when you aren’t reading them, they’re still in your head, interfering with real life. A Memory of Light kept me up until 3AM Wednesday, because I got to a point where I just couldn’t put it down and go to bed. Then when I did get to bed, my dreams were of course all Wheel of Time rehashing. So I was a little zombie-ish yesterday.
Anyway, my thoughts. And these are very much “I just reached the end of a very long and complex series, and have not really had much time to really think it over” thoughts. (Warning, spoilers ahead) Read more…
As a writer, I find myself saying this a lot.
I’ve heard of writers who have a difficult time coming up with ideas…and I confess, I have no idea what that feels like. As of right now, if I never had another story idea again, I have enough material sitting on my computer to keep me occupied for the next decade, at least.
Ideas can come from anywhere and anything. For example, this Tumblr.
I found it via one of the many blogs I frequent. At first it was merely amusing and interesting. Street art is always something I’ve thought about doing (except in real life I’d probably be too afraid of getting arrested), but as I kept clicking through it I had that realization: there’s a story here.
What struck me about this kind of street art was that element of the sublime breaking through the mundane in small ways, of people leaving little pieces of themselves out there for other people to find and appreciate. There’s a lot you could do with that, especially in a story setting. Like…
What if it wasn’t NYC, which still contains bits of the natural world, but a futuristic metropolis whose people no longer even remember what a tree is?
What if such “vandalism” wasn’t just slap-on-the-wrist illegal, but actively, dangerously forbidden?
What if the people leaving the messages were trying to warn everyone else about something?
I could take this conceit a number of different directions:
Urban fantasy: Have the street artists be fairies, or some other fantastic race dropping clues about themselves for humans to find. Conversely, have the street artists be human, leaving messages to the Fae (or not, but the Fae take interest anyway).
Futuristic sci-fi 1984-ish dystopia: Some sort of totalitarian government doesn’t want people to remember their past. Government is hiding something from the people. There is a resistance. Etc.
Straight up mystery: A body and a literal trail of clues. Serial killer as a street artist. However, as that’s not my usual genre, I’d need a really good in-story reason to take it that direction.
Literary: Connect the street art mystery to a character’s inner journey, maybe make them sojourn across America, something lovely and cheesy like that. Also not my usual genre…maybe I’d fantasy it up a bit, include some supernatural element.
However, any and all of these require a cast and a setting. Right now my two most likely settings are good ole Earth…or if I go the dystopia route, Dell from the Mask of Eldermarch would make an ideal metropolis. I’d have to decide where on the timeline such a story would fall: before or after the events in Mask? I could put it on a new world entirely, of course, but that takes work
More important are the characters, especially if this turns into any sort of literary story. I may go poking around through my character folder and see if anyone might fit…but right now, I don’t have a clue who this story would be about. And one thing I’ve learned is not to force it. The right character will manifest eventually.
In other writing news, I’m making progress on the first Grimm short story (which is probably going to end up being more of a novelette). But as I have three drawings I need to finish before mid-March and two other bigger ones on the back burner, I haven’t been putting a whole lot of time into Grimms.
I’m perhaps about halfway done with Turn Loose the Mermaids, and have been wrestling with the question of which epic to do first. I was going to tackle The Poet and the Pendulum, but…if there’s one NW song I absolutely do not want to “practice” on or rush or screw up, that’s it. Thus, I’ve decided to do that one last. The first epic I’m going to do, then, is FantasMic. I have a pretty good idea of where I’d go with it, and it’s Disney…there won’t exactly be a shortage of source images to work from.
Well, I sort of changed my mind about having a separate page for the project…I can just post updates in the regular blog and tag them. Also, FYI, this is a longish post.
I finished Storytime at last, and have been working on Turn Loose the Mermaids. Storytime turned out really, really good…I’m quite proud of it:
(If you want a close-up look, I also have it over on deviantART.)
I’ve started an audacious, slightly insane project. Actually technically I started it back in September, in that first NW drawing I did. You know, this one:
The Space Coast Writers’ Guild puts on a writing conference every year, around the end of January…and it always manages to sneak up on me It’s a small, comfortable conference, and we do manage to get some very good people to come and speak. This year we have something like five agents and two or three editors, so I’m hoping that will draw more people in.
Info about it, including speakers, events, and registration, can be found here: http://www.scwg.org/conference.asp
It sneaks up on me despite the fact that I’ve been in charge of designing the program for the past…I think this will be my fifth conference, and the fourth that I’ve done the program for. But inevitably there’ll be that moment in mid-January where my brain goes, “Hmm, the conference is in 10 days…WAIT WHAT?? *panic*”
Now this year I almost have something like an excuse. I’ve been getting stuff ready to enter Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel contest, AND working on a drawing for the Beautiful Creatures contest over at deviantART. I have, thankfully, gotten both of those done, so I can concentrate on the conference program these next few days.
This is how the Lena pic came out. Pen and ink, like I’ve been doing, but then I took it into Photoshop, cleaned it up a bit, and added a little bit of coloration. We’ll see how it does; last night I did some poking around on deviantART, looking at the other entries, and the competition looks to be pretty stiff.
As far as the conference program goes, in the past I’ve found that making the program is always quicker than making the initial registration booklet. All the graphics and photos and stuff are essentially made; all I have to do is reorganize them.
This year is going to be a little different, as we’re making an actual 8.5×11 sized program complete with ads. I’m actually looking forward to having the extra space; inevitably the most difficult part is not so much making the content look good, but fitting it all in. Of course it might end up like a purse: the more space you have, the more stuff you end up putting in. I could be eating these words…we’ll see. I plan to have a rough draft done by Thursday.
The conference means I probably won’t be making much headway into anything else until the beginning of February. I’ve got several drawings planned, and am going to start really working on the Grimm project.
I’m putting Mask of Eldermarch on hold for now, pending the results of the Amazon contest. If Hands, Like Secrets does end up advancing all the way to the end (hey, I can hope), then I will need to get Promises, Like Tears edited and get moving onto the last book. If it doesn’t, then I’ll pick Mask back up again. I do intent to get one novel finished this year…just not sure which one it will be yet.
That’s it for now. See you after the conference!
I don’t know that I’ve ever done one of these before.
I actually don’t normally make New Years resolutions…not the conscious, write-it-down on a notepad list sort. Maybe I’ll have a vague notion of “Hmm, maybe I should try to accomplish such and such this year…”, but I’m not enough of a goal-driven person for that to actually motivate me beyond thinking about what a great idea it is. Read more…
I’m writing this on Christmas Day, while the boys are busy playing video games. Not something I was ever into. Therefore, I’m pretty bad at them, which makes me disinclined to play them, which means I don’t get any better…it’s a self-defeating cycle I have no particular inclination to break.
Things have been busy these past few weeks, as might be expected. Read more…
A writing book I read a while ago compared a writer’s brain to a coffee percolator. Ideas are like coffee grounds…sometimes you have to gather a bunch and let them sit in there and soak for a while, maybe even multiple soakings, before you get something, er, drinkable. And even though I don’t drink coffee, this stuck me as a good metaphor for what I do.
I have ideas that have literally been sitting in my head, evolving and changing and growing for years that still aren’t what I would consider “ready” (Hello, Tindaari, my darling sprawling epic fantasy…I have not forgotten you). “Ready” meaning at a point where I could sit down and start building the basic plot.
I’ll tell you something that, if you are any sort of artist at all, you probably already know. Ideas are cheap. Ideas are everywhere, in everything, all the time. Everyone has them. Most people have more ideas than they could ever realize in a whole lifetime. The human imagination is a busy little shoulder devil, always yapping and pestering and going “omglookatthis! and you could do thisandthisandthis with it!”.
(Especially at night. Or in the shower. Or during long car rides when you have nothing to write on.)
Or in my case, when I’m brushing my teeth. Maybe it’s the mint? Read more…