Thursday, January 17, 2013

The latest Dark Metropolis news! Or, should I say...

Some of you may have been wondering just what is going on with Dark Metropolis anyway. Well, I have some bad news (that is actually good news, believe me):

The book has been pushed back again, to 2014.

I've actually known about this for months, but when I first heard, I was pretty bummed. When it was pushed back to fall 2013 I was like, well, okay. But NOW, I hate that I have no book in 2013 for you, dear readers, especially since I actually write pretty fast, most of the time. But this past year has definitely been out of the ordinary, and truly, I am glad my editor wanted to push the book back to give it the time it needs to be the best book it can be. It's better to wait and have a great book.

But I know, it is still a bummer. I am feeling broke and un-famous. But it's probably been good for my creative process. A kind of re-centering.

However, I also have some nifty news. The book has a new title, and I love it!! It is...


It hasn't gone through marketing yet so there is a wee chance it could change, but...I think it is so evocative! I had nothing to do with choosing it, of course, because I am the WORST with titles and I try to push that job into someone else's hands as much as possible. Pleeeeease, I will write the book, just do not make me title it!!! I gave Hyperion a list of words and they came back with this, which I simply adore. I hope you like it too!

Shiny updated Goodreads listing:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Skip the boring parts

The other day I was editing a scene from the sequel to Dark Metropolis and I realized what the problem had been with the original: I had added in boring parts, subconsciously, because "it's more realistic".

Once I noticed this I realized how often I do it.

I will feel the need to add some extra characters no one cares about, because I simply feel like, realistically, more people would be involved in these endeavors.

Or I drag out a scene because, well, come on, realistically things probably wouldn't happen THAT fast.

Or I make characters more boring than they need to be because some little voice in my head says, "Realistically, not all the people my MC comes across would be fascinating and awesome. Some people are just dull!"

I am going to try to banish the word "realistically" from my vocabulary--well, or at least pare it back. It's one thing to get serious research details wrong, but the actual storytelling? Well, it probably shouldn't be TOO realistic.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

This week's food adventures

First, if you have not yet seen it, I just realized Kristin Cashore wrote up a post of her tour presentation of how she wrote Bitterblue: A must-read, if you haven't seen her on tour--well, heck, I did see her on tour and I'm still bookmarking it to remind myself that you can struggle and struggle with a book and it might NOT be crap, in the end.

I also think this Food Timeline is awesome: (via bodlon).

I cook a lot. This week I had some good luck with various recipes.

First, I made this Peanut Butter & Greens Soup: because Food Lion had bags of prewashed collards on sale for .50. They must have over-ordered for New Year's. It was really good, though I didn't have as much peanut butter as the recipe calls for. I added Huy Fong Chili Garlic sauce instead of cayenne pepper.

I also tried this Thai omelette: which turned out delicious and very rich... I used only a couple tablespoons of coconut oil instead of the 3/4 cup vegetable oil. The recipe tells you not to do this, but I don't use veggie oil, and coconut oil is much too pricey to use in such quantity. It absorbed all of it, I'm not sure how much the lesser quantity of oil may have affected its ability to "flash fry". However, the end result was really good. The coconut oil is scrumptious. I ate it with Jasmine rice as suggested, hoisin sauce and more chili garlic sauce. If you need something that will hold you for a loooong time for less than a dollar, this is it.

I had gotten A Taste of Thai Spicy Thai Peanut Bake for 99 cents at Amazing Savings in Asheville in November, which I finally remembered I had and tossed on some roasted sweet potatoes. I put the peanut bake on about halfway through the roasting time, but it did burn a little. I think I could've put it on just in the last ten minutes. I really liked this, though. It's peanutty, sweet, a little spicy, and really gives roasted veggies a pop.

Thus concludes this week's food adventures. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Remembering Evan S. Connell and Mrs. Bridge

PW Daily has just informed me that Evan S. Connell passed away yesterday. I must comment on this because he happens to be the author of one of my favorite books of all time: Mrs. Bridge. (I am also quite fond of the companion novel, Mr. Bridge.)

One of my favorite styles of writing to read is the witty and satirical portrait of how absurd people are. It's very hard to do well. I'm sure I couldn't, although bits of it do filter into my writing. My favorite novel of this type is Mrs. Bridge.

I came upon the book in a funny way. I was reading a non-fiction book about people who collect and resell antiquarian books, and they purchased a copy of Mrs. Bridge and included a generous excerpt from the novel. An entire chapter, I think, which wouldn't be hard because the entire book is written as a series of short chapters, moments in the life of a repressed suburban housewife.

I'd never heard of the book--most 20th century literary fiction isn't really my thing--but I was so impressed by this chapter I purchased the book that very week, and I was gripped from the first line:

"Her first name was India-she was never able to get used to it."

These books are funny but also sad. Occasionally downright dark. Thoughtful. And impeccably written. What else can I say? It's difficult to make a book about a suburban housewife sound like a must-read. But I adore this book. I might just have to go read it again...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Casual Blogger

Heyyyy there.

It's been a while. But it's a new year, a much less INSANE year, and I'm feeling like it's time to blow the dust off the old blog.

I'm also going to try to post about more little things instead of waiting a month and writing like, a magazine article. I vow to post about smaller things! More frequent things! Things I can write in the morning (12:06 is totally the morning in my book) when my cat Betsy, happy and full of her morning kibble, conks out on my lap and is too distractingly heavy and adorable for me to do anything more important.

Thought for the day: I just went to the calendar store this week and got my 2013 calendar 50% off. You never know what you'll get, if you wait until after the new year, but I have to say this year might be one of my favorites EVER. Vintage sheet music.

Some of the images are just the BEST, like this month it is an image of an ice palace for the "Ice Palace March-Twostep".

What's on your calendar this year?