The Fairy Godmother, Shimmer #17

Shimmer #17 is out and I’m delighted to have a story appearing in it. This publication makes me extra proud as #17 is the first issue in which Shimmer magazine began paying pro rates to its authors. It’s an especially gorgeous collection.

Also, thanks to my wonderful and talented friend Jenn Lewis of Maple Syrup Sound, there is now an audio version of The Fairy Godmother available via the Shimmer website.

You can read a snippet of The Fairy Godmother here.

07

10 2013

It is done! Write-a-thon update, week 6

It happened. I finished the first draft of Magpie. Write-a-thon goal achieved. It’s short — just over 50,000 words — but the story’s all there.

What mattered most to me in writing this draft was developing the story. This is the fourth first draft of a novel I’ve written. It’s by far the most promising. I have a tendency to start strong, get lost in the middle, and then tack on some weak ending with the intention of fixing it later. Usually, my first drafts are not finished so much as abandoned in exhaustion. I end up dreading the revision process because I know how much work I’ve left myself.

This time, there’s still work to do, but it doesn’t scare me. I’ve built something I’m excited about. This one I believe in.

Of my three previous novels, two ended up tucked away in a drawer. I never figured out how to fix them. One I sent around to agents but in time I came to realize that it wasn’t quite there yet, and that I didn’t quite know how to get it there.

This one’s different. I know it already. I’m certain, too, that this novel is better in large part because of what I learned last summer at the Clarion West Writers Workshop.

During the write-a-thon I raised $213.55 for Clarion West and I wrote 28,255 words. To celebrate, I got on a bus and joined 11 of my classmates in Seattle for one short, giddy beautiful night. There was wine and there was singing. There were rocketship sashes. I remembered how extraordinary my classmates are and how lucky I am to call them friends. And I remembered how lucky I am to be a part of this community.

Thanks to everyone who supported me through the write-a-thon, through donations or through encouraging words. It means a lot.

06

08 2013

Voodoo dolls & sewer balls, that’s what week 5 is made of

Week 5 of the Clarion West write-a-thon is over and I have 5,300 words to show for it. This week was a lot bloodier than I expected. This has little to do with the shiny things below, but I thought I’d mention it since bloody is not usually my style. I wasn’t sure I could go there. I totally did. Much of this week’s action took place in a dark basement, where my donor objects were slipped in for atmosphere.

I’m happy to be nearing the end of the first draft of Magpie. I am tired, as you might guess from the very short blog posts. The novel is messy but it’s a mess I can work with. One week to go!

There are several creepy dolls in Magpie. Here are three of them. Thank you to donors Barb and Tom Hopkins for these.

There are several creepy dolls in Magpie. Here are three of them. Thank you to donors Barb and Tom Hopkins for these.

According to donor Henry Lien, the lovely centrepiece shown here was designed to help push sewage through the pipes beneath Paris. Très romantique, non?

According to donor Henry Lien, the lovely centrepiece shown here was designed to help push sewage through the pipes beneath Paris. Très romantique, non?

29

07 2013

Write-a-thon week 4 update: the very shiny things edition

Last week was fun, productive and exhausting. Some stuff happened, like 1) I turned 40. And oops, I forgot to have a mid-life crisis. Instead I ate a bunch of candy, went to the beach with my family and felt a whole lot of gratitude. Then 2) my husband went to Comicon so I took time off work to hang out with my kid. There were picnics, birthday parties, more picnics and lantern festivals. And there was writing. In total, 5,200 words for week 4, bringing my total write-a-thon word count to 18,500. Yay!

More importantly, I’m happy with the way Magpie is progressing. There will be lots left to develop in the second draft, but it is definitely a novel-shaped thing. This week my characters were navigating the tunnels of a mighty hoard. It was much fun to write about and included three donor items, pictured below. One of these is a very bad thing, but I won’t tell you which, because that wouldn’t be any fun. For me, that is.

Mm, sharp and shiny. Thanks to donor M. Huw Evans for this one.

Mm, sharp and shiny. Thanks to fabulous donor M. Huw Evans for this one.

This bit of shininess provided by donors Jennifer Douglas and Steven Mills. Thanks guys!

This bit of shininess provided by donors Jennifer Douglas and Steven Mills. Thanks guys!

A bonus pretty from donor Carlie St. George, since I couldn't decide which of her offerings I liked best

A bonus pretty from donor Carlie St. George, since I couldn't decide which of her offerings I liked best.

22

07 2013

Distracted by sunsets: Clarion West write-a-thon week 3

happy placeLast week’s update was waylaid due to the above. Also, eagles diving for fish, crabs under rocks, deer in the front yard and catching up with old friends.

However, writing happened. I added 4,300 words to Magpie last week, including some about this stick:

Thank you to fabulous donor Carlie St. George for providing shiny thing #3!

Thank you to fabulous donor Carlie St. George for providing shiny thing #3!

I can’t tell you how delighted I am that all of my shiny things thus far are ones that might be found lying on the ground. These are the objects that are meaningful to us. Sticks and rocks. I love it.

There will be a shift in week four. This week brought a small flurry of shiny things, some of them very shiny indeed. You can expect a little more bling in my next post.

I’m also happy to report that I’ve now reached my fundraising goal of $200! This is very exciting and great incentive for me to reach my writing goal of 30,000 words. I have a bit of post-holiday catch up ahead of me but I’m confident I’ll make it. Thank you so much, everyone.

18

07 2013