Aug. 19th, 2015

Daily life: Sorting, researching stories, and a chronology for the Toughs stories

"This morning four boxes containing not quite all of my worldly possessions arrived at my doorstep. Less than two months via cargo ship is not too bad. The funny thing is that I'd almost forgotten what was in them. There were some things that I was very happy to see (my Icelandic novels, a sweatshirt, a pair of light pyjama bottoms, the tin containing my spare buttons) and other things that only made me think 'huh, why did I ship that across the Atlantic?' There's a strong argument for donating anything that you're not thrilled to see after two months living out of a suitcase."

--Naraht.


My professional work last month )
On foreshadows in stories )
Researching African-American slavery; or, How I get ideas for historical stories )
My web addiction last month )
My decluttering last month )
My family and leisure time last month )
Replies to Musicman and Twicet )
Chronological order of the Toughs stories (slightly corrected), along with some dates of birth for my characters )

Daily life: Sorting, researching stories, and a chronology for the Toughs stories

"This morning four boxes containing not quite all of my worldly possessions arrived at my doorstep. Less than two months via cargo ship is not too bad. The funny thing is that I'd almost forgotten what was in them. There were some things that I was very happy to see (my Icelandic novels, a sweatshirt, a pair of light pyjama bottoms, the tin containing my spare buttons) and other things that only made me think 'huh, why did I ship that across the Atlantic?' There's a strong argument for donating anything that you're not thrilled to see after two months living out of a suitcase."

--Naraht.


My professional work last month )
On foreshadows in stories )
Researching African-American slavery; or, How I get ideas for historical stories )
My web addiction last month )
My decluttering last month )
My family and leisure time last month )
Replies to Musicman and Twicet )
Reply to Twicet:

Thanks for the reminder that I need to update the Toughs timeline to include chronological links to all the Toughs stories. I also have to correct the dating of the earliest stories; I managed to make a mistake in my dating cheat sheet that placed all of those stories five years off their actual dates.

Not to mention getting Merrick's name wrong through the entire second part of "Rain." (*Sigh.*)

In the meantime, I've put the Toughs chronology at the end of this post. The series page for The Three Lands has those stories listed in chronological order.


Chronological order of the Toughs stories (slightly corrected), along with some dates of birth for my characters )

Sep. 27th, 2013

Daily life: Writing fic again

"So today I did 1.5 hours on workshops, 3 hours plus on layout of a magazine, finished some laundry and did dishes, had a half hour nap, watched 2.5 hours of television, did about an hour on e-mail and business, and still got just under 5,000 words of fiction written plus this blog."

--Dean Wesley Smith.


"It was my practice to be at my table [to write] every morning at 5.30 A.M.; and it was also my practice to allow myself no mercy. An old groom, whose business it was to call me, and to whom I paid £5 a year extra for the duty, allowed himself no mercy. During all those years at Waltham Cross he was never once late with the coffee which it was his duty to bring me. . . . I owe more to him than to any one else for the success I have had."

--Anthony Trollope.


Writing fic again )
Interesting stuff on the web, some by me )
E-mails from me to Noakes about fic-writing, Toughs research, and daily activities (minor spoilers for an upcoming story) )

Jul. 2nd, 2011

Daily life: I'm *waiting*, Muse (*drums fingers*)

"It is not much good, transcribing part of your autobiography into your story . . . , it seldom fits, the ends don't mesh; but what you have read and what you have done and what you have felt and what you know are, after all, the only things you as a writer have to sell, and in some way they gurgle through the sloshy pipes of the brain, losing an amino acid here and picking up an enzyme there, and what emerges is part of you. Probably the best part of you. The best part of all of us is in what we write."

--Frederik Pohl.

How I reply to comments at this blog.


My Muse continues to wander off to stories I *didn't* ask him to write )
Writer's block continues; layout hell begins )
Life Prison research (actually, Triad research )
June wordage )
Writing and publishing and research trips, oh my (Waterman research, among other things) )
Recommendations and other links )
Reply to comments )

Dec. 20th, 2010

Illustrations for "Men and Lads" (Life Prison), plus notes on my research trip

This is a post combining illustrations and a trip report for "Men and Lads," for those of you who would like to follow along on the characters' journey. It's best if you read the story and the historical note before reading this, but there are maps at the beginning of each section below, if that's all you're looking for.

Includes minor spoilers for 'Men and Lads' )

Mar. 11th, 2010

Daily life: Transitions

"BLACKSBURG, VA—Scholars and critics across the country expressed outrage this week following the release of Chomper & Clomper, a children's book that some have called an irresponsible and exploitative portrayal of the celebrated friendship between Clomper, a Brandenburger gelding, and Chomper, a caterpillar of the Junonia genus. . . .

"'If we're to believe Mr. Radler, Chomper spent every day in an old oak tree by a sunny meadow without a care in the world, the ever-faithful Clomper neighing contentedly at his side,' said historian Donald McFarlane, who has written extensively about the duo's relationship in the context of post-Vietnam-era ethical discourse. "Certainly the two frequented this spot; but what of their sometimes bitter intellectual rivalry, or their wildly disparate notions concerning things as fundamental as how life ought to be lived?'

"'The author takes their friendship for granted and entirely misses the greater point: that Clomper, in many ways puritanical and dogmatic, and Chomper, the moral hedonist, were able to forge such a tender, lasting bond at all,' McFarlane continued. 'To reduce their hard-won mutual respect to something as simple as "Chomper and Clomper both loved to eat juicy green leaves" is certainly reckless, and possibly criminal.'"

--Friendship Between Caterpillar, Horse Exploited For Cheap Children's Book, an apt commentary from The Onion on the social value of friendship fiction, *ahem*.

(Honestly, why aren't there really these sorts of commentaries on friendship fiction? I'd die with happiness if I could read a periodical entitled Reviews of Friendship Fiction.)

Background to my entries )
Writing: I have seen the future of research, and it is Google Street View (Life Prison research) )
Writing: The National Pike (Life Prison research) and Greenbelt wetlands (Prison City research) )
Simplicity and Writing: How I've doing, wordagewise and Internetwise )
Home: Health problems again )
Home: Health update )
Home: Lifestyle changes )
Home: Exercise )

Feb. 28th, 2010

Daily life: Research, research, research - Part 1

"Any assumption that gay men will write with most authority about gayness is immediately challenged by inescapable evidence - by the success, for instance, of E. M. Forster's women - and by the common-sense observation that the essence of imagination is its ability to enter into experiences beyond the writer's own. This being so, there seems no reason why the converse case, of a heterosexual writing about gay characters, should excite even the mildest surprise."

--Neil Powell in the 15 September 1995 issue of The Times Literary Supplement.

Background to my entries )
Simplicity and Writing: Starting afresh (Prison City research) )
Home: Snow in Maryland (now) and in Britain (in 1982) and Somerset village life )
Writing: New thoughts on e-book publishing )
Writing: Evidence that the publishing world has changed )
Simplicity: How the new 'Don't seek new stuff, don't add new stuff' regime is going )
Writing: C. J. Cherryh and my stuck Muse )
Writing: I get the go-ahead at Smashwords )
Writing: Football fever (Prison City writing) )
Writing: Working out my schedule for the next few months (including Prison City research and Life Prison research); plus, my additional thoughts on the omnibus e-books )
Simplicity: How the new 'Don't seek new stuff, don't add new stuff' regime is going (second update) )

Daily life: Research, research, research - Part 2

Writing: So this is how historical research works (Prison City research) )
Writing: Finished 'Unmarked' (Prison City writing and research) )
Writing: Nearly fruitless day (Life Prison research and Prison City research) )
Writing: Lions and tigers and maps, oh my (Prison City research) )
Writing: Boarding school fiction (Prison City research); plus, Rosemary Sutcliff )
Writing: Fact and fiction )
Writing: A reason to love schoolboy fiction: Great first lines (Prison City research) )
Writing and Home: More of the Lawrenceville stories (Prison City research); plus, snow in our yard )
Writing and Home: Meme: What do you have on (or under) your desk right now? )
Writing: Update on the steamboat/lighthouse scenes (Prison City research) )
Writing: I think I've found the Eternal Dungeon (Eternal Dungeon research) )
Writing: Figuring out how Greenbelt Lake connects in with the Chesapeake (Prison City research) )
Writing and Simplicity: Wordage, schedule, and the Internet )
Writing: I think I've found Compassion Prison too (Life Prison research) )

July 2017

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