My slipstreamy short “The Scarred Utopian Takes a Wife” is now available to read for free in issue #14 of Jabberwocky.
On the day of her wedding, the bride of the Scarred Utopian pulls her veil down over her face. She does this unassisted by her attendants, assembled around her in silence of the most solemn kind—this is a thing that she must do herself, her fingertips slipping over the intricate needle lace. She sees patterns of flowers and winding vines spiraling endlessly around birds in flight, leaping stags, wild hares, other creatures impossibly strange. Shapes that change forever, altering themselves the very instant she identifies their nature. She sees this, and then the veil is over her head, a vague white blur, and that is all she sees.
The story itself actually comes out of a paper I wrote in my second semester of grad school, after I’d been devouring a lot of Zygmunt Bauman and Omer Bartov’s writing on utopian ideals and how destructive they can be. Stuck that onto my desire to write something about fairy tale tropes and the removal of women’s agency and here we are.
Here’s the first of a series of posts introducing the world of Line and Orbit and the people who inhabit it – since I think I’ve actually talked very little about that. The worldbuilding in this book is one of the things that we’re most proud of, and I want to talk it up.
First up: A rundown of the various factions and species that show up in the book. Enjoy.
[Image by JazzLizard]
In lieu of an actual substantive post, let’s play a game:
ASK ME ANYTHING ABOUT LINE AND ORBIT
About the book itself, about the process of writing it, about the editing/publishing side of getting it done, wildly speculative questions about any aspect of it. Anything. I will answer honestly. Ask away.
And if you want to ask me pretty much anything else I’ll probably answer that too.
An earlier version of this post appeared on my Dreamwidth
So I finished Harbinger yesterday, or at least a draft of it. It clocks in at about 79k words, which is respectable. There’s still a lot of work to be done on it, but it feels good to be done.
I suppose. It honestly doesn’t feel like much of a big deal. Which is weird. It should. I’ve been working on it for nine months now. You guys it has literally been like I’ve been pregnant with a book.
And now it’s done–or at least a draft of it is–and I just feel tired. And disconnected from it. I wrote -end- at the bottom of the page around 1:30 and then went to eat lunch and didn’t really think about it all that much for the rest of the afternoon. Granted, I had the first lecture of the semester to deal with yesterday evening and that always makes me nervous and preoccupied but still. I realize that it’s kind of the height of callous assholery to be all like oh yawn I finished another novel but I honestly do feel a little like that.
And I look back on the other two books I wrote/co-wrote–Line and Orbit and Communion–and I think about the differences in the two. At the end of L&O I was fucking elated. I was almost dizzy with joy. I had also written about 10k words in a single day so I was just dizzy, period. And then at the end of Communion I was considerably less excited but it still felt like kind of a Thing. And now… yeah.
Maybe some of it is just that I have more visceral sense of how far from done a draft actually means–from being in publishable shape and then actually being published. It took us about two years to sell L&O, from completion to signing the contracts, and this was after it took a good year or so to write. And then there’s been the edits, which were extensive, and it still won’t even come out for another few months. And I still haven’t sold Communion. I’m sure I will but it might take a while longer.
And now there’s Harbinger. My third baby. I love it but it’s got some defects that need fixing, and that’s work that has to be done before I can send it anywhere–and even then the work won’t be done.
That’s the thing about writing books: You’re never done. Not really. You take a breath and then you’re shoved back into it again. One of the reasons why I was so set on finishing Harbinger this week is because I want to start the next thing (which I’m very excited about but am not ready to talk about yet). And there are other things after that–I have a wonderful/awful feeling that the next thing is actually the first of three things, and there are another couple of things that might come after L&O… and I guess finishing just isn’t enough for me anymore. Which feels kind of sad, even though I guess I should be mostly pleased about what it means.
So. On to the next one.