lagilman: coffee or die (Default)

One of the interesting joys of the current story-series is that I'm NOT writing a broken or restricted character - I'm writing a character who has gotten his shit together & is taking on a new, out-of-comfort-zone challenge because he chooses to.

Because the story doesn't end when the broken bits of a POV character are repaired/justified.  Interesting stuff happens after, too. And we don't have to break them a second or third time to make it interesting.

Kintsugi is about the repaired form as a whole, not just the golden seams.

This post possibly brought to you by reading too damn many "hero/ine is broken in order to BE the hero/ine" story.  Which are good and necessary stories, but not the only ones we should be telling.

lagilman: coffee or die (Castiel)
 Agent and editor notes are in, my own final markup is complete, and I have a mostly-clear deck for the next two weeks.

I'll be making a supply run this morning, and then settling in for the (hopefully) final pass of fixing-the-broken-things-hopefully-without-breaking-anything-new we laughingly call The Revisions Run.

A lot of stuff to be done, to get this book to where I need it to be. Agent and editor seem to think I've got this well in hand. I hope they're right.

But it has to be done by early August. Because GISHWHES is coming...
lagilman: coffee or die (Castiel)
 There was no brain for writing, this weekend - Saturday was the usual come-home-fall-over, after an 11-7 shift, and Sunday started early with a trip to the farmer's market, and then I got hit with a lot of winery-related stuff that needed to be done in addition to the actual tasting room hours.  Which is all good, and I got it one, and there's a definite feeling of accomplishment about that.  But the last 6 pages of the novella still need to be polished up, and there's a chunk of work that's resisting the polish.  Grr. Argh.

Patreon stuff to get done, too, and harass my editor once again about my not-yet-arrived revision letter.  And CampCon starts on Wednesday!  

And, in all this, CatofSize has decided to be a grouchy old bear, including giving the Kitten a what-for at the foot of the bed, at 4 this morning.  Thankfully, even half-asleep I know better than to put my hand into a catfight, but my voice was enough to send them running for opposite sides of the apartment.  and then I had to spend half an hour calming both of them down.

They're still not particularly on speaking terms, but there hasn't been a repeat of open hostilities.  This happens every now and again - the rest of the time they're affectionately tolerant of each other, which is about as good as you can hope for, with two unrelated male cats of different ages (CoS is 14, the Kitten is 4).  I suspect I will wake up tomorrow with everything back to normal.  I hope so, anyway.  Two 4am wakeups in the row, an I might forget I really don't want to dropkick them out the sliding doors.
lagilman: coffee or die (Castiel)

I've sold the flash fiction "Storytime" to Daily SF.

And I am Informed by Sources that THE COLD EYE hit #8 on the Locus hardcover bestseller list!

(and was #7 on the Borderlands list in January, which I'd missed...)


Mar. 1st, 2017 06:59 pm
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
I tried to manage three different cats (anthology edits, winery job, writing) within the same half hour period, and my head may have imploded.

I need to not do that again.  Fortunately, the manic phase of the anthology is starting to come to a close (these stories are SO GOOD, you guys),  Unfortunately, I'm expecting revisions notes for Book 3 Any Minute Now, so that's going to take up the slack...

Compartmentalizing and time management.  Those are my new BFFs.
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
One of the interesting/infuriating/exhausting things about working in a tasting room is that you rarely have any sense of how any particular day may go.  There may be a slam of people early, and then nothing all day.  You may be slow all day, or slammed from the moment you open your doors.  You may think the day's going to be a total loss, and then in the last half hour things get really busy.   There's no way to predict: even if you have a group reserved, they may come in late, or not show up at all (or, come in 45 minutes early, but let's not talk about that one...)

I think we had nearly all of those iterations, this past weekend, ending with someone squeaking in 5 minutes before we closed (I'd gotten inventory done already, so I said 'what the hell.').  And he was a delightful guest, so I'm glad I did.

I am thinking, though, that I should do a "how to visit a tasting room" primer....?

Anyway, and now it's Monday and it's snowing (surprise!  Pretty sure this was not in the forecast), and I intend to sit at my desk with a cat on my lap and a laptop on the desk and wear my writer/editor hat ALL DAY.  Well, most of the day....
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)

I think I have to accept the fact that from Saturday to Sunday, any writing or editing that gets done is purely happenchance, and all the planning or good intentions in the world won't change that...

(I put in 7+ hours at the tasting room on Saturdays, from open to close, so my brain's down for the count by the time I get home, and then there's another 6+ on Sunday, so....)

Yeah. Saturday night is for doing things that don't require braining.
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Someone with a large dog in my neighborhood has a collar for said dog that not only glows in the dark but shifts color. It's a #RavePup!

I know this because it is very dark and rainy outside. Oh well, blue skies, you were a nice reminder of what's coming in a few months. We'll wait.

Meanwhile, the next few days are split, about 30% winery stuff, 70% writer-stuff, and 20% activism. Wait, you say, that's more than 100%? Why yes, so it is. And I have a cold, too.

*Squints at sinuses. Sinuses squint back, then sneeze*

Coffee is required.

How be you?


Aug. 2nd, 2016 04:25 pm
lagilman: coffee or die (madness toll)
Dear Book: so this is it, we've reached the point where I shred the outline into cat-toy confetti and you lead me by the nose to the end-point, have we?

If I wasn't completely aware that this new tertiary character is my lizard brain stepping forward, I'd be more worried. But still: One of these days I'll write a well-behaved book again, I swear it...
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
The official t-shirt for Necon read "what happens at Necon, stays at Necon." There are some photos floating about, but convention reports, not so much. You want to know, you've got to go.

This morning, I spent an hour doing preliminary promotional stuff for the paperback release of SILVER (October) and the hardcover release of COLD EYE (January). Now I get to write more of Still Untitled #3 (late 2017/early 2018) and poke people about the proofs for COLD EYE, and news on Still Untitled #4.

Series writing means never getting to say "I have nothing to do."
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
I posted this blog entry five years ago today. It was true then, it’s true now, it will forever be true.

Did you work today? Are you sure?

There is a trend among many writers, fostered by nifty word-count bars and graphics, to post metrics of daily word count. This is a useful tool. It forces accountability and many of us – lazy writers that we are – need that public accountability to get shit done.

However, the trend is also a dangerous one, because it leads to the feeling that unless you have nailed a certain word count you haven’t actually “done” anything.

We’re all guilty of it – “I did X and Y but I only wrote 500 words so the day’s a failure.”

Let me respond to that as pithily as I know how.


A story isn’t words. Words are what convey the story. The stronger and more effective your conveyance, the better people respond. That’s the goal. But there is more to “writing” than the actual act of crafting sentences.

There is research, and planning, and thinking. Note-taking and chasing down facts, and considering about how it all connects. It may not feel like writing, and it’s not always as much fun as writing (except to the few, the proud, the research junkies), but it feeds the writing. It creates a deeper, more layered and thoughtful story. More, research triggers ideas, and the ideas trigger thoughts, and those thoughts move the story in ways we-the-writer might not have anticipated or planned.

So how can that process be any less “writing a story” than the actual choosing/typing of words?

Idea + Plotting + Research + Word choice + Editing/revising = Writing.

Post your word counts if it works for you. If it doesn’t, if it makes you feel stressed out or unhappy because it highlights the fact that you spent the day ears-deep in research or inputting editorial corrections rather than laying down new words? Don’t. Deep-six the word meter and wallow in the fact that you were doing some damned heavy lifting.

Don’t allow yourself –or anyone else – to discount everything that comes before (or after) the laying down of words as “not writing.” Because you ARE. From inspiration to perspiration to polish. And you should give yourself credit for the whole damned difficult process.

(to find the collection this ended up in, check out
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
After taking time off for ...Stuff, I'm back working on the Yet-Untitled Book 3.  Back to 1802 we go...

And we seem to have turned the ouch-meter up, if the next section's outline is any judge.

Oh Gabriel, bebe, I'm sorry.  But the author is a cruel god.


Mar. 9th, 2016 07:12 pm
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Back in the Steady Writing Mode - 1K on the days when I have the side gig, ~2K other days. Running hot and fast over the outline, and well-aware that every bit of research I do tweaks things slightly, but with book 3 there's no chance to sit back and spend three months on nothing but research. *sob* So a-multitasking we go.

The advantage to writing outside your educational comfort zone is the shit you learn. The disadvantage is the shit you have to unlearn. Also, I now have an entire sideline story set just outside the Devil's West I need to write. Some day when I have time, or someone offers me money that buys that time...

And this weekend I am off to FOGcon in SanFrancisco, where I will be lightly scheduled but heavily socializing networking Friday through Sunday, and then Sunday night I shed my professional skin, slip into the weather-appropriate concert shirt, and head out with fellow fans to see Bruce Springsteen in Oakland.

And then home on Monday, and start the ride all again.

Meanwhile, with permission, I share with you evidence that yes, reviewing a book (on a retail site, via a book blogger, or even just a tweet) can make a difference...

lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat coffee)
Another fabulous night at the SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series, with Fran Wilde, Susan Forrest, and Jason Gurley. It's always fun to hear three very different styles/voices, in one setting - good for the ear, good for the brain. And it was good to have a distraction from watching portions of the US fail their adulting test.


The state of the meerkat right now is that I have a book, a novella, and two short stories to write before the end of the year (9 months from now), four clients lined up for the next four months, a heavy batch of traveling, and we're going into the start of Tourist Season at the side gig.  So yeah, gonna be busy.

This is a goodness.  I am happy about this.  I am also going to be turning off the social medias more often, because y'all are distracting.
lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat and diet coke)
There are a lot of books out there about How To Write (hell, even I have one, although Practical Meerkat is less about writing than it is surviving the writing life). But here's the thing.....

The thing about writing advice is that it's not only NOT one-size-fits-all, but we (hopefully) grow out of advice that did fit, once.

Therefore, be wary of anyone who says 'this works!' All they are saying 'this worked for me, maybe it will help you too.' Shop around. Don't trap yourself in something that's not helping - or worse, something that HURTS.

lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Part I of THE COLD EYE is now marked up with red ink (notes) black ink (rewritten bits), and post-its tacked to relevant passages. 5 more parts to go, and then another pass to put it all together, and then another to polish it, and...

Yeah. And people ask me if I ever read my books once they're done. After an average of 10 passes, including the copy edit, would YOU?

Meanwhile, today there is more revising, and some editing of Other Peoples' Work, and dealing with the ACA for 2016, oh joy...

Tomorrow there will be socializing. And probably some whinging about the ACA paperwork. Because Tis the Season.
lagilman: coffee or die (helpful cas)
Day 3 of the proofing page proofs. My right hand, from mid-palm to mid-forearm, would like me to stop now, as it _aches_ from using the mouse near-constantly, despite elevation and icing and taking the night off to go be social.

Mostly, I'm in favor of the new-fangled digital ways of doing things. But I'm seriously missing the old days of marking up a paper proof, right about now.

(and yes, I'm doing my stretches. They're not helping - or if they are, they're keeping it down to a mild roar rather than incapacitation)

However, in happier news - I'm wearing a long-sleeved shirt! Seattle summer, I'm glad to see you back to your more-usual self...
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Today - and the next few days - will be given over to the page proofs for SILVER ON THE ROAD.
As seen via a series of tweets:

I can’t be the only writer who, when faced w/ page proofs, finds it uncomfortable/difficult to read even a beloved book One More Time? Y/N?

2nd-guessing foreign language usages in this book, now. Trusting my native advisors, and accepting responsibility for all errors.

How many pages of page proofs can the author proof if an author must proof page proofs? (300 pages to go…)

oh, @MetMarket, telling me you have dark chocolate-covered graham crackers and then only having milk chocolate is just CRUEL #sadtrombone

I’m missing every typo in this book, aren’t I? Must trust proofreader…. (never trust the proofreader).

No sunset photos tonight, and probably none for a while - they're subtly beautiful in shades of pale blues and pinks, but the awareness that the beauty is caused by the smoke drifting down from the BC wildfires makes me less eager to capture them.

Meanwhile, after a week of unreasonable heat, the wind off the balcony is refreshingly cold and smells of ocean and ozone. If I could sleep with the door open, I would (alas, the cats cannot be trusted with overnight, even with the gate up).

And that's all I got.  How YOU doin?
lagilman: coffee or die (almost-there dragon)
After much hair-pulling and coffee-drinking, Book 2 of The Devil's West and I seem to be writing the same story again, just in time to bring things to a close....

Seriously, this would be SO much easier if the lizard brain would talk to the mammal brain during the FIRST pass of the draft, not the THIRD. But nooooooo, the damned lizard has to go and leave all these juicy bits, and force the mammal brain to slowly figure out how they all tie together, and what the characters are supposed to do with them.


And I'm pretty sure a fourth pass is going to be needed before I'm satisfied enough to let m'editor see it, so he can tell me what is needed in the fifth pass....

"Writing's easy," they said.  "You can just whammy out a story every month, two books  a year," they said.  "Easy money," they said!

Where's the damned money and my cosplaying fandom, is what I want to know.

(or, failing that, whisky and a wedge of pont l'eveque.)

((cosplayers for the Devil's West would be so awesome, I don't even know how to say it. Except it would be so awesome and if anyone ever does I DEMAND pics. Um, please?))


lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Laura Anne Gilman

October 2017

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