Month: November 2016

Goal Review November 2016

Posted November 30, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

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November was… Well, it was certainly in keeping with the theme of 2016, let’s just put it that way. I did my best and made as much progress as I could given assorted whirlwind developments and the US election. (I don’t even live in the US.)

Last Month's Goal

I Want to Read:

  • Whatever strikes my fancy.
  • Some more of HEX

I Want to Write:

  • NaNoWriMo

Well, I certainly managed to read whatever hit my fancy! But I made no progress on HEX and I failed miserably at NaNoWriMo. Boohiss. It’s especially boohiss because I’m so close to the finale of the first novel. Any progress is good progress in my book, but still. I really, really, really want to write these stories, polish them and get them published. Ideally next year because, clearly, I want to be massively ambitious.

I do also have cover title ideas now, so that’s good too. It’s not that November was a bad month, per se. Just that it wasn’t anywhere near what I’d hoped or imagined it’d be at the start and it’s made me a bit grumpy. And, as a consequence, I have very little to say. I just want November (really, just 2016) to be over already.

So! I shall leave all you lovelies here. I hope you’ve had a much better month than I did! <3

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A Look at the First Proof of Rapunzel, Rapunzel

Posted November 29, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Design Adventures: The first proof of Rapunzel, Rapunzel.

Welcome back to Design Adventures! Today we’re tackling Rapunzel, Rapunzel! This means sneak peeks and previews! OMG! This is so exciting! This’ll be the first sneak peek I’m giving people!

So, since it’s the first sneak peek and I need the practice, this is your friendly post reminder that the ebook of Rapunzel, Rapunzel is up for preorder right now! So go out and preorder it if you haven’t already! <3 (Or, you know, don’t if you’re not interested in it. That’s also an option.)

But let’s talk Rapunzel, Rapunzel!

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Website Updates and Assorted Notes

Posted November 25, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in News / 0 Comments

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I have… been failing NaNoWriMo for the past, what, week? TO BE FAIR, this is the week I more or less crashed from my Twitter timeline and finally decided that mental health won keeping up with international news. (I’m really sorry, but I just. I cannot. Not all the time. Hit me up in a DM or email if you need to vent or talk and I will love on you, but the constant barrage of horribleness in my timeline? It is cutting that to a minimum or leaving Twitter altogether. Or just not getting anything done ever again, I suppose.) And now I’m slowly clawing my way back to productivity and job hunting that still continues. (Wish me luck?)

But! Some updates! I have them. Firstly, I’ve redone all the links on the book pages. I’ve switched over to using Universal Book Links to make updating them easier. It has some potential bonuses for you all too, though!

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Why the ebook and print editions of Feather by Feather don’t look the same.

Posted November 25, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Design Adventures: Feather by Feather and Other Stories, Ebook & Print

Welcome to another Design Adventures, everyone! It’s been a while and I’ve kind of completely flubbed talking about the last draft of Feather by Feather and Other Stories, but, to be fair, I didn’t make too many changes.

The biggest changes are actually in the ebook edition and the print book edition, so… Let’s talk about those! Briefly, probably, but let’s talk about them all the same!

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#NaNo2016 Day 17

Posted November 17, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in My Work / 0 Comments

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It has… been a while, hasn’t it? Wow. I’m bad at updates. In my defense, I’ve actually spent the time prepping Rapunzel, Rapunzel and doing other writing related things that I’d originally planned for December in hopes of spreading some good news and cheer.

But I am back and I’m still on track with NaNoWriMo writing goals! (Albeit because I’m following the “this is how editing counts for my writing” rule.) So now that I’m back on track, mostly, let me give you another snippet. This time we get Fili’s pov! This is also the part where my mental outline started to fall into a bajillion pieces, so this is a fair bit rougher than the rest.

Oh, and the full word count for DemiPrincess1 stands at 49,964. This would’ve been even more awesome if I’d started NaNoWriMo at 0. Alas, I did not.

For context: Felicity was ill when she went out into the stables and encountered Fili again. That’s the encounter they’re talking about here.

“Hey, are you listening?” Vaylèn asked.

“What? Yeah, sorry. I was just thinking about the princess. I was the one who found her, you know.”

“Really?”

I hadn’t been looking at Vaylèn, but I could feel him sitting down beside me and pressing close, conspiratorial. His blond curls pressed against my cheek, that’s how close he was to be able to get the information I had before anyone else could. “Hey,” I said, shifting away a little and pushing Vaylèn slightly to the side. He moved with the grace of an angry cat, my thigh cool where his leg’d pressed against it just that little bit. I didn’t like it when people were that close to me. Made me uncomfortable. Even Linna knows better than to cuddle up that close without warning. I don’t need much, but it helps even so.

“Sorry.”

I patted his shoulder awkwardly.

“What was she like?”

“You mean, what she looked like? Pale. Not that fancy-lady pale, but death-pale. I didn’t talk to her much, Vay. Just saw she was looking ill and went for Lord Good-nature.” I told him what I felt I could without getting into trouble. Nothing about spending the night teaching her about the land and the way she revelled in something as tiny as spotting a dropped acorn. I couldn’t tell him all that much. Just about today. Just that she’d seemed out of sorts. Takes a lot to get a person to brush a pony the wrong way. Assuming they didn’t figure it out the first time to start with, anyway. Some folks I think they just want to be dumb, don’t even try. I didn’t tell Vaylèn about the times I’d seen the princess in the stables with Lord Good-nature. Most of that was known, but little special. Lord Good-nature just got help from whoever was there at the time. I didn’t tell him I’d first met the princess while she was trying to sneak out, trying to be all prim and proper-like. No one knew about that. I was going to keep it that way. When I was done, I said, “You owe me for this now, you hear.”

Vaylèn nodded so fast I thought his curls might just bounce off his shoulders and onto the ground. “Give the word,” he said, “and I’ll make it happen.”

He was talking about food. He had about as much pull as I did, but being related to the cook meant I’d be able to cash in on leftover delicacies or first dibs on festival food.

“Thanks,” I said and got up. The bridle in my hands had been forgotten and I set it down to return to later. “Come on. Let’s get that food. I’ll finish this up later.”

“Oh!” Vaylèn loved his food and even in the light of the stables, you could see his face brighten at the memory, and then crumble into the shadows around him again. “It’ll be gone now.”

“Not all of it.” I grinned and reached over to ruffle his curls. Vaylèn ducked and batted my hand away, laughing.

“Race you,” I said. Not that we had any intention of running in the stables. We kind of… hastened our pace, but we didn’t run until we got outside and had closed the doors. Then we pelted through the starting rain and down to the kitchens and through to reach the communal dining area.

It smelled like heaven.

Like I said, it’s rough. But I like Vaylèn. He’s very enthusiastic and I look forward to learning more about him. I know why their interactions are reading so awkward here and it’s not all me being rubbish at description, but it’s something that can wait until revisions to be properly addressed.

Also, yes, this is the boys talking about the girls. (IT WAS ONLY FAIR.) *prods them* Make sense. Oh, I can’t wait to revise this! (No, wait. I can. I can’t wait to finish the novel and get to revising it.)

But first I may or may not to get to write a kelpie. In the stables. With lots of there-is-a-predator-frightened horses. And now I almost certainly will need to write that. THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST. *cowers in fear* And just because it’s been a while since I’ve given you this particular complaint about this story: I KNOW NOTHING OF HORSES. WHY DID YOU NEED TO BE A STABLE BOY, FILI?! YOU COULD’VE BEEN A COOK!

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Upcoming Release: Rapunzel, Rapunzel

Posted November 13, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in My Work, News / 0 Comments

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Cover for Rapunzel, Rapunzel. A young woman with very long hair and a tower-shaped hat, reaching out to blossoms on a tree branch.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel

Coming January 17, 2017

Ebook available for preorder now: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Kobo
Other stores should follow with their preorder links.

You can’t be Rapuzel forever.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel is a collection of poems, a fairy tale of modern life, growing up and falling in love. Or not.

Divided into five different parts, Rapunzel, Rapunzel explores the impact of anxiety and bullying, and the strength of love, for others and for ourselves. It muses on the difficulty of discovering who we are and how the masks we wear affect our lives and relationships.

Most of all, Rapunzel, Rapunzel is about embracing all aspects of yourself, even the ones you’re scared to show, and finding strength in who you are as a person.

Look! It is done! It is finished! And it has a cover! (Disclaimer: I may still tweak the cover slightly.) Rapunzel, Rapunzel is… a book which I still haven’t quite figured out how to talk about it.I was going to subtitle it A Modern Epyllion, but decided against it on account of the fact that most people wouldn’t even know what an epyllion is. I mean, I didn’t until I looked it up and decided it suited this as a modern version of it. If you’re curious, an epyllion is defined (according to Wikipedia) as “a comparatively short narrative poem (or discrete episode within a longer work) that shows formal affinities with epic, but betrays a preoccupation with themes and poetic techniques that are not generally or, at least, primarily characteristic of epic proper”. Which, I admit, probably doesn’t quite fit, but that’s why it’s a modern epyllion?

You see why I dropped that subtitle idea, yeah? Great! So what do you need to know?

Well, you need to know it’s quite short. It was supposed to be. Also you should probably know that, apparently, I really like verse novel structures. But that doesn’t really have anything to do with this book. I like the QA/FAQ structure for these posts, as we all know, so let’s get to it!

How much is it, Lynn?

The ebook is $2.99. There are no preorder discounts, no price hikes once it’s released or anything like that. None. It’s a flat $2.99.

When is it out?

January 17th, 2017. That’s comfortably before the inauguration so USians who want to use it for comfort reading can have it on hand for comfort reading. I make no promises that it’s super-comforting, but it does centre around coming to accept who you are and finding strength in yourself. You might want to skip the first two sections and dive straight into the more obvious fairytale retelling. It should be possible to read each section as a standalone piece if you choose.

It was going to be January 20th because I like round numbers (and Fridays), but honestly I don’t want to be making sales pitches to USians on that day and did I mention that if people find my work soothing I would like to have it available to them prior to when they might actually want said soothing. I don’t know if this is a good idea or if it’s going to prove effective, but I hope so.

Will it be available in print?

Yep! Eventually. I use CreateSpace so getting Amazon to do print preorders is… a hassle I am not brave enough to try and tangle with. I aim to have the paperback ready at the same time, though it may take a few days longer to show up properly connected and everything. That said, if you’re interested in the paperback and the ebook, only preorder the ebook if you want to give me a little extra money and an initial sales boost. I submit all my books with print copies to the Matchbook program so people who bought the paperback get a free ebook copy too.

Before you ask, the print edition will be priced at $6.99. That is literally the cheapest I can make it and get a little more than more pennies from extended distribution sales. Sorry. T_T

Why isn’t it available for preorder on Amazon in my country?

I don’t know! It should be! I’m hoping it’s just something that still needs to percolate through, but if it’s not cleared up in a few days I’ll look into it and see if I can’t fix it. I’m so sorry! I don’t know why it’s not available to you. I’m sure it should be.

Is it really a retelling of Rapunzel?

Loosely, yes. It’s not the most conventional retelling, you’ll see. I hope you’ll still enjoy it, though! There’s actually very little romance in this one. It’s… more of an aromantic retelling? Sort of. Mostly. Just don’t go into it expecting an on-screen cuddles or romantic scenes. If it’s about romance at all, it’s about a break-up, but not in an overly sad way.

This is why I struggle to talk about this book. This right here. I do not know its themes in a way I can easily word. I AM MARKETING FAIL. (We knew that already, but great to know that it continues?)

Is this #OwnVoices?

This is #OwnVoices in the sense that I have an anxiety disorder, was bullied growing up and this whole book is about the process of healing from the latter and dealing with the former. So, yes. Not sure if there’s anything else that applies. I mean I suppose you could call it #OwnVoices for ace spec if you wanted to, but I personally wouldn’t really think of it that way.

I have another question!

Ask away! ^_^

Oh! And, lastly, keep an eye open for the promo posts. I’ve got a bunch of promo posts lined up for this book that’ll be going live between now and January 17th. I hope you’ll enjoy those too!

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Today, incoherent thoughts, and books

Posted November 9, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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I went to bed yesterday, hopeful that the US vote would be… not what it is, and when I woke up this morning it was not yet decided, but you could see where it was headed and it wasn’t long until it did go there.

I am devastated for all my USian friends and all the USians I follow quietly on Twitter and admire from a distance. I have spent most of my day attempting to spread some light and beauty onto the timelines of those who follow me. I’ve spent my day sending good thoughts and love to hurting people because it was a thing I could do. I’ve been reaching out to my friends. I’ve cried. I’ve retweeted and shared resources that I hope someone would find useful.

I decided to speed up the webserial’s release. Sea Foam and Silence is a quiet little queer (ace spec) retelling of The Little Mermaid with a disabled protagonist and it has a happy ending. I wanted to spread that bit of free reading into the world in case it helped brighten someone’s day. In case anyone needed it. I upped the few book talks I’d scheduled for the rest of the month in case someone would find them comforting reading and I wanted to spread the word.

I wrote a short little story to be shared on Twitter. You can read the Storify version here. It is a happy little literary fairytale. It features girls loving girls. And talks about creating art and beauty in the world. I still hope that it will find someone who needed a story like that today.

I gave up on making NaNo wordcount for the day. I wrote! But not to word count. I love my DemiPrincess story, but I have something else scheduled for 2017 that is finished and that I wanted to work on to get that out into the world sooner. Or at least, announce it to the world sooner and let people know it is coming in a little more detail. (It is about love and friendship and being yourself. It is also about being bullied and growing up and the masks we wear in social situations. And also it’s a fairytale retelling because this is me we’re talking about.)

I’ve spent all day thinking about what else I could do, about doing more. I’m a writer. As I said on Twitter earlier today: I create stories. I don’t know how to respond to strong emotions except curl up and cry or write and tell stories.

So I told stories. And I see so many people on my timeline tweeting or retweeting that they want stories, need stories, need escape, need fantasy.

So. If you need stories today or in the next couple of days and you think any of mine will offer you comfort or something else you need right now: let me know. Send me a DM via Twitter, Dreamwidth or Livejournal, an email via the blog, etc, and let me know which of my books you’d like, which format (epub/mobi) you’d like it in and what email address to send it to. I can only offer ebooks at present, and I’m offering them to anyone in the world. I’ll send you a copy as soon as I can.

Personally, if you’re looking for comfort, I’d recommend Sea Foam and Silence above all the others. That’s my happy ace spec romance verse novel with a mute protagonist. (Yes, you can read it for free online and I just finished serialising, but ebooks are more portable.) Maris is very optimistic and cheerful. She’s a little bit of sunshine, really.

If you’re looking for someone with anxiety discovering they can be awesome too, Courage Is the Price is what you want. Be warned it comes with trigger warnings for descriptions of anxiety attacks and Rue, bless her, is very oblivious to her privilege.

I am… very hesitant to include A Promise Broken in the offer, but I trust you to know what you need to read better than I do. Just… Be warned that as much as I want to say it’s about a precocious toddler being adorable and failing at numbers, it’s far more about racist asshates wanting to destroy said toddler for daring to exist. (Spoiler: They lose. But they’re still there for a significant and highly visible part of the story and they do a lot of emotional damage.) What I’m saying is: if you’re scared and hurting and need comfort reading, this is maybe not the book you’re looking for.

If you want cuteness, pick up Tales of the Little Engine and skip straight through to The Bravest Little Engine. Those are cute and fluffy kids’ stories about a brave little train that goes on adventures and tries to defeat the Nethertrain. (The two before that are… less fluffy. The Little Engine That Couldn’t is about what happens if people don’t listen when someone tells them they’re trying the hardest they can and about dreams changing to fit reality.)

If you want variety and short pieces, Feather by Feather and Other Stories probably has something for you. That’s a collection of 40+ pieces covering… a lot of different stories. Mostly leaning to fantasy but with some realistic pieces thrown in. (Please note, if you ask for this one, you’ll get an ‘advance’ copy of the edition I’ve got scheduled for December. Though that schedule is kind of up in the air at the moment, because I just want to spread small bits of light into the world en masse right now and that would qualify as a light, I hope.)

Anyway, I’m not offering copies of The Passage of PearlChangeling’s Time and To Sleep for a Season. Those are all collected in Feather by Feather and Other Stories alreadyanyway, so I hope you understand why I’ve opted to ‘exclude’ them. (And The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake is free anyway, so there’s really no point in offering you that one now.)

As I said, I spent all day thinking about what more I could do. I also spent it wondering whether this was something I should do or not. It makes me feel wrong and awful and I worry how people will perceive it and me. But. If it can bring someone comfort, then that fear and anxiety is worth it. I wish I could afford offering people print copies too, but my funds don’t allow it. I’m really sorry. I just… wanted to hopefully spread some light into the days ahead in whatever small way I could think of doing. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep offering, but. I wanted to offer.

Please, everyone, take care of yourself. Whatever form that takes for you. I have seen so many tweets today talking about what people ‘should’ do and what feelings are ‘valid’. Your feelings are valid. All of them. And you matter. You do. It may not feel like it, but please believe me. You matter. You are important. Taking care of yourself is important. If you need to look away, look away. It doesn’t make you a bad person. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to vent, vent. If you need to be angry, be angry. If you need to create, create. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You are loved and appreciated. You are important. You are important. You are important.

You are important.

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Book Talk: Buried With Him

Posted November 9, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Buried With HimBuried With Him by Alex Beecroft
Series: Unquiet Spirits #0
Pages: 43

Sentenced to the pillory for the crime of having kissed a man, Jasper Marin has been stripped of his vocation as a priest, and seems poised to lose his faith with it. He has always been able to see ghosts but it's just like his luck that the one who's harrassing him now seems obsessed with collecting human hearts.

Buried With Him is my first experience with Alex Beecroft’s work. I enjoyed it a lot. ^_^

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Book Talk: The Olive Conspiracy

Posted November 9, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: The Olive ConspiracyThe Olive Conspiracy by Shira Glassman
Series: Mangoverse #4
Pages: 344

A love story between women, between queen and country, and between farmers and their crops. When Ezra tries to blackmail Chef Yael about her being trans, she throws him out of her restaurant and immediately reports him to the queen. But when police find Ezra stabbed to death, Queen Shulamit realizes he may have also tried to extort someone more dangerous than a feisty old lady. The royal investigation leads straight to an international terrorist plot to destroy her country's economy—and worse, her first love, Crown Princess Carolina of Imbrio, may be involved. Since she's got a dragon-shifting wizard at her disposal, contacts with friendly foreign witches, and the support of her partner Aviva, Shulamit has hope. What she doesn't have is time.

Also in this series: The Second Mango, Climbing the Date Palm, A Harvest of Ripe Figs
Also by this author: The Second Mango, Climbing the Date Palm, A Harvest of Ripe Figs

The Olive Conspiracy is the fourth installment in Shira Glassman’s Mangoverse series. And if you’ve ever wanted to read about a lesbian Jewish Disney princess (well, queen) in a YA/NA setting, then these are the books for you. The Olive Conspiracy is no exception, though you probably do want to read the previous books in the series. It stands on its own well, but you’ll get more enjoyment out of the story if you already know the characters involved.

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Book Talk: The Lioness and the Spellspinners

Posted November 9, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: The Lioness and the SpellspinnersThe Lioness and the Spellspinners by Cheryl Mahoney
Series: Beyond the Tales #4
Pages: 308

Forrest can't fathom this prickly, knife-wielding girl who so unceremoniously turns up in his family's barn one morning. His life has never been this exciting. Karina can't make herself trust the strangely hospitable villagers on this island she's now stuck on, and when they claim they can knit spells into their garments, that doesn't help. She knows magic exists, but that's just ridiculous. And no one can understand why the chickens have suddenly started laying gilded eggs, or why the horse is talking in rhyming couplets.

When the inexplicable magic goes from mere bad poetry to actual threats, when dancing becomes dangerous and the wrong thought could cause disaster, the only answers are in the past Karina is fleeing--and the only way to survive is for the knife-wielder to trust the spellspinner.

Also in this series: The Wanderers, The Storyteller and Her Sisters, The People the Fairies Forget
Also by this author: The Wanderers, The Storyteller and Her Sisters, The People the Fairies Forget

Disclaimer: Cheryl is a friend of mine. I’ve done my best to state biases and be impartial, but bear it in mind.

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