Month: February 2014

Serial Notes: Questions and Answers

Posted February 24, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


A Promise Broken: A young girl looking at a stormcloud.

This week. I’d like to poke at some potential questions or comments I suspect might come up. They’re not terribly well-organised, apologies, but they’re here. Please don’t hesitate to throw more questions my way if you have any!

Before reading below the cut, I do have a small and important note to add: I am not good at non-fiction of any kind. I often have wording fail, and a lot of it. I expect to find I put my foot in my mouth in the questions below. If you want to point out where and how, please try to be gentle. I’d appreciate the chance to learn and improve. I’d also like to try and work up to discussing aspects of the writing process and what I’ve learned in separate posts at times and I’m already struggling to find the confidence and the courage to do so. Gentleness would be encouraging in discussing the specific issues in a wider context as the serial goes on.

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#Ukraine #EuroMaidan

Posted February 20, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


Links. The text 'links' underneath a big, old-fashioned key. Links I felt were interesting.

I… have no words, so you all will have to settle for links. Also, be warned that some of the photos and video shots are graphic and may be triggering.

I Am Ukranian. (As per most YouTube videos, stay away from the comments.) If footage of violence triggers (or upsets) you, please open a different tab or scroll past it and listen.

Kyiv as of this afternoon. Or check out the English-language translations of the news.

Chronicle of Events, starting from January 28th. It’s in reverse chronological order so newest events are at the top.

Ways to support Euromaidan activists.


What games are on my replaying list?

Posted February 16, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


Thoughts. The text 'rambling thoughts' underneath a burning lantern. For rambles, thoughts, and not-essays.

I’ve been talking about books quite a lot. Part of that is simply that I have a great interest in books and the stories they tell. Part of that is that when you’re moving in a bookish blogging world non-bookish things may get left a little to the wayside. Part of it is fear. Part of that is simply habit. So. This post around I thought I’d try something a little different and, instead of talking about books, I thought I’d talk about the games I come back to and replay. I’ll limit myself to a maximum of ten items, though if I get to that number, I’ll undoubtedly have mentioned a few more in passing. Some of these may be familiar to some of you because I’ve talked about them before. Some might not.

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Sight loss and access to reading over at The Bibliophibian

Posted February 13, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


Links. The text 'links' underneath a big, old-fashioned key. Links I felt were interesting.

Over on the The Bibliophibian, Nikki is talking about volunteering for RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) and what kind of aids are available to readers who are losing their eye sight. (I’m over there too, helping out by asking Nikki questions. ^-~) It’s a very informative post about Nikki’s experiences as a volunteer and it’s… disheartening and heartbreaking to see how little support is out there for readers who are losing (or have lost) their sight.

I hope you’ll hop on over and give the interview a read. It’s a topic that’s very dear to both of us, though for slightly different reasons.


Serial Description: A Promise Broken

Posted February 10, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


A Promise Broken: A young girl looking at a stormcloud.

Not all promises can be kept. Four-year-old Eiryn doesn’t understand why her mother left her, but she knows things will never be the same again. When Eiryn tries to call for water during her mother’s funeral, everything starts to go wrong. Her uncle is always sad; her best friend is always getting himself into fights; some of the other children hate her… Sometimes Eiryn even struggles to get through the day. She’s determined to make everyone happy, though. Eiryn promised and even if her mother won’t keep her word Eiryn will keep hers. She’ll make everything right again.

One of the things that seems to be pretty universal among writers is a dislike of writing up blurbs, especially accurate ones. It’s an art form, and one that I don’t feel I’ve quite mastered. I do, of course, still hope that this description will give you an idea of what to expect of the story and catches your interest. I promise it’s not as sad a story as it sounds, but it does start on a very sad note.

I dithered about that, whether to change that. I may yet change my mind, but for now I want to keep it the way it is. I look forward to sharing the story with you all!

Toss questions my way if you have them! I’m composing a not-so-frequently-asked-questions list to address and discuss some things that I suspect will be cropping up, but having questions people have actually asked on the list too would be marvellous. (Overlap between what I think people will ask or want/need to know and what people actually ask is good too.)


Space Marines!

Posted February 8, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


Links. The text 'links' underneath a big, old-fashioned key. Links I felt were interesting.

Since I accidentally put the rambling up a week early, have a link to my rambling on Spots the Space Marine by M.C.A. Hogarth earlier this month.

Let me also give you Hogarth’s own post from earlier today about Space Marine Liberation Day, which offers some links to other space marines. Because I can.

I’m afraid Spots the Space Marine is the only space marine story I’ve any real experience with, unless half an hour of my incompetently wandering around a space-capable vessel in Consortium and John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War count, so unfortunately I don’t really have anthing new to discuss that’s related to space marines.  (Well, all right. I may have seen space marines in movies too, but I can’t think of a single movie with any in them, so it doesn’t count.)

For my part, what happened to Hogarth was the push that I needed to start reading Hogarth’s work (and then proceded to binge on it and still leave poor Spots that started it for, er, last December).

Now that I have a post to look back on with the correct date… Would anyone be interested in my hosting a Spots the Space Marine read-along next year? It could be fun!


Let’s go destroy fantasy with girl cooties and diversity germs!

Posted February 3, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


News. The text 'news' underneath a big envelope. News and updates on the site.

(I know that line isn’t entirely free of problems, but please bear with me.) This is an advance announcement for the release date (sort of) of one of the projects I’m working on this year. LET’S GO DESTROY SFF WITH IT!

I’m not sure when the idea of destroying SFF first came onto the scene as a whole, though I know it came to my attention during Crossed Genres’ Long Hidden Kickstarter. I may be misremembering, but Bart Leib’s tweets on how they’re destroying SFF are definitely what made the idea stick firmly in mind, so this is, effectively, the first time it came to my conscious attention.

I’m not going to link you to any of the comments discussing how diversity is destroying SFF, although I will happily direct you to a post by Jim C. Hines responding to such a claim. It inspired a wonderful post on Bibliotropic about (gender) diversity as well. There’s also the Women Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter by Lightspeed. Go read the essays updates as well if you haven’t already. It’s powerful stuff. (There’s also still time to help fund the project! As of this writing, they’re very close to the Women Destroy Horror stretch goal.)

When the latest (as of this writing) incidence of destroying SFF came about, I pondered. I’m not eloquent with non-fiction the way many other people are and I certainly don’t have the confidence in my skills to put my words out there. I’m… All right. Read Stray Outside the Lines by E. Catherine Tobler before reading on. It’s not long.

I learnt that lesson about lines well and it’s likely a large part of my social anxiety issues. Be quiet, be perfect. Indeed. I am a mouse. Hear me roar at a whisper because anything else is too damn tiring to maintain. (Being introverted does not help.) So I don’t get involved with debates much. The price is far higher than I’m willing to pay and I find myself wanting to do what I can and not being sure what that is.

And then, I really don’t know why, I had an idea. I’m a woman. I certainly try to write diverse characters. According to some people, I am destroying SFF (though mostly fantasy) with my desire to include diverse characters in my fiction. Heck, I’m destroying SFF by merely existing. I’d planned to serialise one of the novels I’m working on this year in 2015. I picked that particular project for a couple of reasons, but the most important one for this post is that the story is filled to the brim with characters that deviate from the fictional default that some people want us to maintain. (If only because none of the characters in the story are white.)

I’m a cisgendered, white woman with a fair bit of privilege and I know will mess it up somewhere. (I already did, actually. Thankfully, I have awesome and knowledgeable friends who pointed this out to me and helped me fix it. <3) So. This whole new post came about and I just asked myself why not share the story as I worked on it? Why not allow readers a chance to offer feedback and make it more awesome and less failtastic if they were so inclined? Why not invite people to help me destroy SFF by making this story as awesome as it can be?

I have no answers. So I’m going to go for it. I’m going to serialise a WIP and invite people to read along the various drafts with me as I make it the best story I can make it.

Long, long ago when I was insecure and scared and never managed to finish anything, I posted some of my things online for friends to read. It helped me gain the confidence I needed to pursue my dreams of being an author. I posted WIPs. I posted things I had finished and was proud of, even though I never considered those early stories done and I reworked them whenever I felt I had enough information to do so. While I’ve never serialised a novel this way before, this brings the journey of the story (and myself as a writer) full-circle.

I spent the past couple of days mulling over the logistics behind this idea. I have them sorted as much as I can without hands-on experience with running a serialised novel. I’m a little scared of doing it, for a variety of reasons. Some are silly, some are not so silly. None of them offer good reasons for me not to do this.

So. Starting March 20th, 2014, I shall be serialising A Promise Broken, the first book in a duology featuring magic, smart girl protagonists, a diverse supporting cast, and more! It’s a fantasy of manners (for kids) that’s estimated to run anywhere between 85,000 words to 100,000 words. I’ll be working on giving people some more details on the story as well as writing up a proper landing page for it in the menu! (You can see the link already, but clicking on it will currently give you a 404.)

Let me know whether there’s anything in particular that you’d like to see me talk about in preparation! A description of the story will go live along with the page, so I’ll make a post for it when I’ve finalised that page.

I am a mouse and a mouse I may be. But damn it I am going to roar anyway. LET’S GO DESTROY SOME SFF WITH OUR GIRL COOTIES AND DIVERSITY GERMS!


Monthly Goals January/February 2014

Posted February 1, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments


Monthly Goals. The text 'monthly goals' underneath a scroll with a key on it. A look back at my goals of the month.

Well! That was certainly a January to alternately forget and remember. When I started the year, I knew I was going to be spending at least some of the time struggling with medical issues and anxiety, so I set my goals low. Just 75K for the space ghosts (I won’t need that many words. Probably.) and some light-weight editing of another book for the whole year. January had a couple of books I was interested in come out, so I adjusted my goals accordingly.

I Want to Read:
– Ascension by Jacquelin Koyanagi
– Reawakening by Amy Rae Durreson
– Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
– Spots the Space Marine by M.C.A. Hogarth

I Want to Write:
1 scene of the space ghosts
2 chapters of That Project That Needs A Code Name

That was what my January was supposed to look like. Fairly low key, lots of reading, and about 10,000 words of fiction at most. Yeah, er. That didn’t quite happen. I read 10 books in January, of which I failed to finish one (The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness). The other nine are all books that I finished and are all books that I’ve enjoyed. At present, I have, indeed, only managed to add one scene to the space ghost story for a friend, but! I have managed to have the important conversation surrounding it, so I can move forward once again! Expect there to be few updates beyond ones like this. The possibility of discussing it more openly is an aspect of that conversation and the end result was a decision not to discuss it in too much detail. I look forward to sharing it! (Next up, at some point, I will be reading up on anxiety as drawing on my own experiences is incredibly draining and I’m hoping it’ll help.)

Most of January, as a partial result of working up to having those important conversations, was spent reworking That Project, changes of which I brought up here. I’d appreciate people to bounce ideas off. I realised, belatedly, that making a post like this generally probably means I’ve already decided and just need to talk myself into acknowledging it (and figure out logistics). So.

I didn’t quite mean for that to happen, but it is exciting. That Novel is an older piece. I’m updating far more than I’d originally bargained for (apparently), and right now I’m still trying to imagine the logistics of a serialised WIP. (It could be so much fun, though.)

Anyway, I’m very happy with my progress there especially as I’m finding my footing within all the changes and figuring out how to split it off into something that isn’t a chunkster. I’m still working on the last, but I’m more hopeful than I was that it can be done. (Also, serialising it sensibly if I decide to go down that route.)

Which brings me, somewhat neatly, to my goals for February.

I Want to Read:
– Margaret Dashwood’s Diary by Anna Elliott
– Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
– The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
– What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

I Want to Write:
3 scenes of the space ghosts
2 chapters of That Project That Needs A Code Name

That should keep me quite busy, really. A lot of the books above are books that friends have raved about or recommended and the first is written by another friend. I’ve been waiting for it since she announced it. And now it’s here! Whoo! The writing goals should give me some solid progress on both stories, but we’ll see how they both go. *pokes them* At least they’re both behaving. Now if my energy levels would follow suit, that’d be marvellous…

We’ll see how it all goes in the end! I’d actually like to make a lot more progress on the space ghost story. Ideally, 10K’s worth of it, but knowing me that’s probably a bit too much to ask. (It would still be really cool, though.) Title brainstorming also needs to happen for the one I’m still considering serialising. So… February will be plenty busy and, as you can see, despite having fewer days than January I’ve packed it up with slightly more work! It should be perfectly doable, though!