Hi, everyone! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start! I know. I know. No one likes Mondays because the week’s off to a new start. But you know what Mondays also mean? It’s time for Monday Musings! Wherein I ramble about various and sundry depending on my whim or Patreon requests/suggestions. Posts are somewhere below 2,500 words at most and consist of short personal essays and discussions.
Aaaaaaaaah. Do you know what I’ve forgotten in all the November rush and the beginning of December where the majority of my time has been spent flailing around, frantically helping students, doing lots of thinking about DemiPrincess, or tackling job-hunting things? I forgot to actually announce that Feather by Feather and Other Stories is now available in paperback format! *facepalms* THIS IS HOW BRILLIANT I AM THIS MONTH.
But! I’ve actually remembered now, so! TADA! Have an official and proper announcement. ^_^ To start off: new cover!
I really miss Anna’s old design, but it was never created for print purposes. And also I kind of did not have the monies to go and ask her to redo it entirely to make it fit for print covers. (ONE DAY, THOUGH. I think that design could look AMAZING as a wraparound cover. It’d also be fun and quirky, I’d imagine.) But! For now! Stylised cover it is.
I do really like this cover too, mind you! It’s pretty evocative and though you can’t see it here, the back cover is also covered in feathers. Some of them falling. It was a lot of fun to do a cover like that and to make it all look good together. I’m really proud of what I did with it. I like the colours on this. The’re a little too cold and flat on the monitor I’m using now, but the actual print is quite soft and warm to look at.
I hope that you all will like this cover too!
Feather by Feather and Other Stories has been out in print for a while. I really, really wanted to wait until December to release it, but then the US elections happened and I figured that someone out there might, possibly, find a print copy of the book a comforting thing to be able to have, so I published it a fair bit earlier than I was planning to.
On the plus side, it did give me a chance to announce the new cover after Amazon fixed up the part where it hadn’t updated the ebook cover to the new edition cover.
And yes! This is a new edition! It’s more than a new cover and some more typo fixes. I’ve added The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake (so that, if anyone really wants it in print, they can now have it; it’s really not long enough to warrant a print copy on its own), and I rewrote the introduction and the commentary. (It is now way less negative about stories that I, personally, don’t like as much as the others, so future readers who love them don’t need to be sad to discover that I don’t.)
I haven’t made any changes to the stories themselves. Well, I fixed up some typos that’d sneaked back in, but that’s about it. No significant changes have been made other than what I just mentioned in the previous paragraph.
And, of course, as I mentioned before, now that it’s December the ebook price has returned to $5.99. Well, I say that, but the changes are still in review. So do be warned of that. This is the biggest sad I have in the past weeks being so busy. I would really have liked to, you know, announce that the price would be going up soon, so people who were hoping to snag it cheaply at the last minute could do so. But I don’t want to forget about it again, so I just went and changed it. My apologies for that snafu!
And I think that’s about it from me today. It’s been… a day. Not a bad day, mind! It’s actually been a really good day. But a day. I’ve spent most of it trying to arrange a fair few things reasonably last-minute. YAY travelling during the Christmas holiday period! (Actually, that makes it sound much worse than it actually is.) And then I got to spend it running errands and playing arbiter and watching my extended family’s dinner plans fall through. (Anxiety Brain is having a field day. So far, I’m succeeding brilliantly at ignoring Anxiety Brain.)
So… Yes. Feather by Feather and Other Stories is also available in paperback and the ebook has reverted to its $5.99 price point! I probably mentioned both before, but look! Now I have a proper official announcement for both! WHOO!
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.”
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.
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!
Right. Now that I’m sort of functional and have caught up on much needed sleep after the weekend’s bout of sick, let me give you all the snippet that I’d wanted to give you earlier and did not have the brain to. Because I like it. And also because I’m actually having a lot of fun deliberately writing an ace spec character rather than because it’s the characters I generally lean to.
This is a relatively long snippet, though I’ve done my best to cut out most of Felicity’s unrelated musings. This, by the by, is the Bechdel Fail scene. It’s Sionen’s fault! Everything would have been perfectly fine, but the girl’s got priorities. *sigh*
Currently, I’m working in Fili’s pov rather than Felicity’s which seems to be slowing me down somewhat. (Yay, research I need to redo because my brain is a sieve? I did get past the point of research because it’s Plot Unrelated and more character building I can add later, so that’s good.) But yes, that is where I am. I think that, for the first book in the set, I’m about 30K from the end for this draft, so it’ll balloon up into the length I want in revision later. I’m so excited about that! It’s so much fun to work on this story and with these characters. And soon(ish), I’ll be able to move onto the second part! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! So much fun! (Wait. I need to come up with multiple book titles and a series title now. Aaaaaaah! This is one of the Hard To Title stories too. T_T Aaaaaaah!)
Anyway, I should get back to that. I’m still on track for daily targets, but still behind where I ideally wanted to be given the week.
But hey have Felicity struggling to understand what Sionen is on about. Also watch her hide her complete and utter confusion in grumpiness. This is set right after Felicity’s first nighly trip out of the castle, and she’s particularly excited to tell Sionen about it. Sionen has… rather different priorities because of course she does. Read More
Yep. We’re doing sporadic NaNoWriMo updates! Today you get two updates for the price of one! Well, sort of. Let’s talk some general stuff first just because it makes a nice introduction.
November is NaNoWriMo month! I’ve spent the past couple of years being a NaNo Rebel in some form or another. This year is, technically, no exception since I’m continuing an existing story. It’s a big story that’ll be at least a trilogy from the looks of it, so my goals for this NaNoWriMo rebellion are simple: Finish the first book-length part and get as far into the next one as I possibly can. You can see my book-specific stats on the main page. We’re at 40K+ right now and that’s about half of what I’d expect the story to be, length-wise.
The story I’m working on is my demisexual fantasy romance story that I’ve been talking about for aaaaages and still haven’t finished. >> TO BE FAIR ON ME, I was trying to stuff three books’ worth of material into a single 60K story and THAT DOES NOT WORK DO NOT TRY IT AT HOME. Or, you know, do if that’s what you really want. I hope it works better for you than it did for me. ^_^ Anyway. That’s where I’m at in general, so let’s go look at the days.
I know I’m still super-terrible at keeping people in the loop regarding where my writing projects are at the moment, so… Let’s actually do an update now that I actually manage to find words to say things. >> I’m not good at this whole self-promotion business. T_T Other people, yes. I enjoy shouting their names off rooftops (on that note, Cheryl Mahoney released a new book, The Lioness and the Spellspinners, and Becca Lusher recently released the next of her Overworld shorts, Facing the Hurricane. Check them out!)
But this post is all about me. So… first of all… I’m running a special seasonal promo for The Passage of Pearl. It’s $0.99 (or 2 dollars off) for the rest of October. If you’re looking for a quick, scary read… Check it out!
I’ve also managed to figure out how to get The Princess who Didn’t Have Cake price-matched on Amazon, so now it is permafree everywhere. WHOOHOO! I’m so glad that I managed to figure that out! (It actually turned out to be pretty easy, but wow do they hide that price match contact us option deeply.)
I’ve decided that there’ll be no serial next year. I don’t have anything that’s suitable for it at the moment and we all know that if I try to serialise anything that’s not at least halfway finished before I start that I’ll end up going on hiatus right in the middle and no one wants that. (Or at least I don’t and I’m writing them, so.)
Speaking of next year! I’ve got PIP lined up for publication in early 2017. It needs some more tweaking and finalising and I’m pondering whether to try and experiment with availability and/or preordering options. That’s just a little too far into the future, though. It most likely will, however, be released in ebook and print at the same time. Yay!
And speaking of print books, I’m done fiddling with the print versions of A Promise Broken and Feather by Feather and Other Stories! They’re not published yet, so if you really wanted a print copy of them, don’t go rushing off to stores just yet! I’ll be releasing them in November and December respectively, so each can get a moment to shine.
Feather by Feather and Other Stories will get a second edition with a few added extras. This will also be the time when I reset the price, so if you want the (first edition) ebook cheaply, get it before December! It’ll also come with a new cover, so if you love Anna’s art as much as I do and way it to grace your ereader, again, get it before December.
But there we are. I have almost done what I set out to do this year! And then I accomplished a bit more. November is looming and I’d like to try a proper NaNoWriMo again. For a given value of ‘proper’ since I’m not planning on starting anything new. My plan is to continue working on DemiPrincess and get 50,000 words of that added to it. I’m thinking since it seems to like the trilogy format that it’ll want to be around 240 words, so I’ve got plenty to work on! Once November starts, I’ll be updating the word count on the front page. Probably on a weekly basis, but I’ll do my best to check in every day and share snippets. (Because that worked so well last year.) The rest of October’s writing time will be dedicated to finishing up the last bits of “I changed fundamental parts of the setting, let’s rewrite it all” and the nonfiction projects of my bilingual HEX read and the Sailor Moon (re)watch. I’ll be focusing on HEX, though. I really want to try and finish it completely before January. I also need to write one last Design Adventures post for these final proofs, of course.
When the kingdom discovers that their crown princess doesn’t like cake, chaos ensues. How will the royal line ever continue? Cake is essential to a good marriage! (Not to mention, the rejection of his cake was deeply insulting to the baker-prince who proposed with it.)
…and the stableboy who loved her…
The princess befriends a stableboy. She’s oblivious to the fact that he’s in love with her. The stableboy does his best to explain to the princess what is so wonderful about cake, but it takes an arduous journey to convince her to try a slice.
…in a kingdom that didn’t want to understand…
The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake is a demisexual fairy tale. It aims to introduce people to the concept of demisexuality and to offer a rough idea of how the world may be experienced by people identifying on the asexual spectrum. It offers both the titular fairy tale, a brief essay explaining what demisexuality is in more detail and a short list of books featuring demisexual characters for anyone who would like to see more representation in fiction.
Content Note! View Spoiler »The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake features a suicide attempt. « Hide Spoiler If this is sensitive material for you, please tread with caution.
Surprise release! Yay! It is out and available! Well, to some retailers, at least. It is still percolating its way to most others, but I couldn’t wait to share it with you all! Call me impatient. (Because I am.) But here it is! A handy-dandy ebook version of The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake, accompanied by a short essay for additional information and a short list of other books to explore! It’s also a little more polished and doesn’t feature the word ‘cake’ quite as often as it did.
It should be available for free from most large e-retailers within a few days. The exception to this is Amazon, sorry! Amazon won’t let authors release ebooks for free and it’s not all that happy about authors asking them to price-match either. T_T So I’ve set the price there as low as I can for now. I hope it’ll price match for me automatically, but this is actually something where I could use readers’ help! If any readers could contact Amazon to inform them that the booklet is available permafree elsewhere, I would be super grateful. The more people inform them, the more likely it’ll be price-matched and stay that way.
I’ve released the booklet for free on large retailers because I’m hopeful that their reach will allow more readers to discover the story and, through it, raise more awareness of the asexuality spectrum and demisexuality in particular. Payhip includes DRM-free epub and mobi files and is available on a pay-what-you-want basis, in case you like what I and the booklet are trying to achieve and you want to support a queer indie author produce more stories. (But that is totally optional.)
Please do spread the word to anyone you think will enjoy it or find it useful. I am happy to talk to you about the asexual spectrum and demisexuality too if you have any other questions. I admit that non-fiction is not my strong point, but I’d be happy to do my best to answer any questions you have.
This is the story that sparked the longer DemiPrincess project that’s currently on sort-of official hiatus while I piece my heart back together. (I am getting there and I still aim to have a completed first draft before December.) But the DemiPrincess novel isn’t going to be a particularly good educational opportunity. Sure, it’s longer, but that also means it’s going to have a lot more elements to draw attention away from the focus and it can’t use the cake metaphor quite as easily as a short piece like this can.
I think that about covers it. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
As it’s now slowly creeping towards September, it is time for a general update. Whoo! It is far too hot where I am for my tastes — oh, to be a migratory creature and just move with the weather — but what’s been going for me on here?
I HAVE TRIUMPHED! NaNoWriMo 2015 has come to an end (well, okay, not just yet), and I am VICTORIOUS despite everything in the second half of the month going wrong.
As of this writing, I have squeaked past the 50,000 words of my NaNoWriMo Rebelling month at 50,915 words. And I quit writing in the middle of the scene because I needed a bit of a break. (I.e. I can actually make it to fitness if I hurry up and write this entry quickly.)
I’m surprised to find myself having stuck to working on a single project. Most of my NaNoWriMo rebelling centred around rekeying just about everything I’d previously written. I’d have loved to have gotten further along in the story by adding 50,000 words of new scenes, but I’m afraid I’ve only got to about 40K of novel rather than the 65K I would’ve had to have ended up with. (My maths, it may be faulty.) But! The story is moving along and actual plot is happening.
I may tear it out entirely. I’ve reached another point where something is bothering me and I want to fix it before I go on, so that I don’t toss out a bajillion pages of narrative as no longer applicable. But hey I think I’m slowly reaching the halfway point? Maybe? I don’t know? I’m reaching a point where the action picks up and things start happening, anyway. Again, something about it is bothering me and it’s all too new for me to have figured out what. I think it’s just tone and execution, possibly build-up, more than “ZOMG! Wrong direction entirely!” so that’s good.
Here, have the final scene of NaNoWriMo scene-sharing. I may or may not keep it up in December.
I would be lying if I said that I did not remember much of the trip back to the castle. As a child, they felt like my final moments of freedom before returning to my confinement. How could I forget them? But I do not recall anything of particular significance happening. The stable boy still called me this way or that to show me something. He only once steered me away from my path deliberately, and it was easy enough to see why once he’d done so. I savoured those moments. I savour them still and find that these, more than any other moments in my childhood, are ones that I wish to keep to myself. There is nothing untoward in them. It merely does not feel right for me to share those moments with strangers, even like this. Besides, if my life has passed into story should I not allow the tellers some space for mysteries of their own invention?
Back at the castle, I did express my desire to go out again and I was delighted to hear the stable boy agree to take me. I did not know when or how to find him at the time, but I was young and confident, and I had felt the weight of my life’s expectations settle around my shoulders once more. I was home. I would be Princess Chrysanthemum come morning, come whenever I could find myself back in skirts or whenever I ran into someone asking me what I was doing wandering around the castle so late. Other people, I knew, were allowed to go wherever they wanted, to do whatever they wanted, if they woke up at night. I knew father would often continue his work, but I? I was supposed to stay confined in my rooms and to call for someone if I wanted something fetched from elsewhere.
I think almost everyone knew that I did not listen particularly well to that, though I was careful to restrict my movements between the small library and the kitchens. That way I could have the freedom I wanted and I would not scare everyone unduly by only having a few places in which I could be if it were ever necessary to look for me. It did not please mother, nor I imagine the guards, but it was a compromise that we could all live with.
I dared not think what mother would do if she discovered her daughter sneaking around the castle corridors in pants, so I sneaked back to my room, even ducking behind a tapestry where I knew a servant’s entrance was to avoid a patrolling guard. I made it unscathed and disrobed as quickly and quietly as I could before snuggling back into bed.
Next up: working on finishing this and one again multitasking by working on all the other pieces I have on my plate. XD
Hope everyone had a good November (or at least one better than mine) and is going to have a great December! Did you join NaNoWriMo 2015? How’d it go? Any favourite scenes in your stories?