Story-bit

Mar. 10th, 2013 09:29 pm
persephone20: (dead girl)
Originally, this was posted on 19th April 2009. I'd never experienced depression before. Depression was simply something that had happened to a couple of friends and family members. This was... a sort of contribution to what I interpreted that feeling to be, inspired by the Placebo song Without you I'm nothing.

Now it's four years later. I've struggled a lot over the last six months and I have a deeper of the understanding of these words I wrote way back then. They just need to be here now, unchanged.

**

Young girl, sitting in a corner in her room, guitar sitting between her legs and fingers lazily strumming the notes, the chords. Her younger sister had come in to tell her to be quieter, but it had been a while ago and it seemed the sister had accepted the noise. Dark hair, almost black, falls over her eyes as the girl bends her head to look over the chords she plays. It's not a special song, certainly not one she's made up. She's just learning the chords from a well loved Placebo song.

I'm unclean, a libertine
And every time you vent your spleen,
I seem to lose the power of speech,
You're slipping slowly from my reach.
You grow me like an evergreen,
You never see the lonely me at all


A loud sigh is heard as the door to her bedroom is open. Her friend's tall and lanky form is the first figure to be betrayed, but the opening of her door reveals also her younger sister behind his shoulder. She's granted another opportunity to vent her displeasure before the door is closed again.

The girl makes one last strum of a chord and then puts the guitar aside. Her friend takes her bed, slim fingers touching each other at the tips as he glances her way. He's self possessed and she wishes she was self possessed. He makes messy look like a fashion statement, yet his hair over his eyes reminds her of the hair she has haphazardly tied back to keep from her face. She smiles, maybe sadly, maybe self deprecatingly, as her friend tips his head in a silent question, but it is a smile all the same, and boys are well practiced at accepting what is shown on the surface.

"What's up?" Her fingers twitch for the sake of finishing song and she curls her fingers so her small nails bite palms.

The boy inclines his head. "You weren't at practice."

Without her guitar, the girl is free to stand, to move out of the corner of her room and towards the window. "I didn't think I needed to be."

Practice had been orchestrated for the purpose of the new drummer getting a feel for the sounds of the rest of the guys. Vocals would come later, but she would have been welcome to attend.

There was no reply for a while. Her bed wasn't the kind that creaked when someone moved on it. As a result, her friend managed to stand and cross the room so that she was unaware of it until his arms were around her waist. "What's wrong?"

"Oh, you know." A weak shrug of the shoulder. "Just one of those days."

"Anything I can do to help?"

His head was bent, his lips near her throat, and she could think of many things. She smiled again, this time a smile he could not see.

"You're already doing everything you can do to help."

The houses outside of her window were mostly lower storey houses, and she was glancing out at a forest of roofs. She was dancing on those roofs at the same time as being held in the arms of her friend. She was dancing, she was still.
persephone20: (Default)
(Cross-posted to my blogger: http://nicole-d-fergusson.blogspot.com.au)

One year ago, this book showed up on my Tumblr feed. Now, I love fairy tales, I love fairies, I love fantasy. It's pretty safe to say I love all these things to do with 'F'.



It's also safe to say that I enjoy reading Young Adult fiction.

So, as you can imagine, when I finally got around to this novel, it was an absolute delight to read!

Part Holly Black's Valiant, part Cassandra Clare's 'The Mortal Instruments', part Alex Flinn's Beastly, this book was all parts awesome. Sarah Cross managed to put into this fairy tale novel a real sense of grittiness into the town of Beau Ridge which is, to all intents and purposes, a fairy tale town. But not a nice, censored, Disney-style town. This is a town in which Bluebeard tries to pick up the damsel in distress and Sleeping Beauty makes the choice to prick her finger in order to save her life.

In all honesty, after a year of knowing about this book and not being able to find it, I almost completed the whole thing in a day!

The only reason why I didn't was, of course, because the reading of this book also overlapped with the last days of having my partner's daughter in the state. She is absolutely adorable, and I wouldn't have missed out on a minute of extra time I got to spend with her.

However, as some of you know, I've been dealing with depression and anxiety over the last several months, and I gave it until the date of this little lady's departure to stay on a regular course of St. John's wort and see if that might prove a possible alternative to something harsher, like anti-depressants.

It's not been all smooth sailing. During the time of this course, my car battery died outside of a shopping centre and it seems like the very warm weather Melbourne has been experiencing aided an infestation of maggots in my living room. In addition to that, my work lifted the 20 hours per week of my contract to a full 40 hours over two weeks. Last week was a very shit week. And it was with a combination of practical solutions to these problems as well as the mental space that the St. John's offered that got me through it. I've had to jump up to 2000mg (a full sized tablet rather than the tablet cut in half) to get the effect I wanted.

This week has been much easier.

The only problem I'm facing now? The knowledge that I'm not ready to come off this herbal supplement just yet. I have tried halving the dose again, cutting it down while still keeping it in my system. Within hours after, I'm feeling anxiety creeping up and I just don't have the mental reserves yet to keep it at bay, to shut it in a box called 'Irrational' and keep moving forward. Not yet.



So, I'm still leaning on it, then. For a little while longer at least.
persephone20: (Default)
Today.

I have woken up and refreshed my email on my phone with eyes still too bleary to actually focus on the words that pop up in front of me. I have murmured to my love that the book was out and then wandered out of the room to make breakfast. I have arrived at work, then spammed the hell out of the work internal email system, ‘Look at me, look at me, I is a published author as of right now, look at me, I are special!!’ (granting me the rather amused retort from a co-worker: ‘She’s on freakin’ Amazon!’)

I have sat in my chair at work, buzzing (by now wide awake!) and too excited to really properly focus on what I was doing. My stats for tomorrow are going to show this but for today, I HAVE A BOOK!!

People are asking questions, getting back to me on reviews, liking pages, reblogging pages, congratulating and celebrating with me online and in person over this amazingly exciting moment in my little life.

By the end of the week, I expect that people around the world—people I have never met and have never even talked to (hi to all you new guys who have liked this page)—will at least know the name of my book, if not have purchased it for their very selves or put onto their to-be-read lists. And this wouldn’t be happening without my community of friends putting their hands up and mentioning forums and online groups that they are a part of, people they know, reviews they are willing to give.

I had thought that I was astounded by the support I’d found in the lead up to the publication of 'Gothic'. But now, on day 1, I am also overwhelmed by the support.

Eventually, I’m going to get sick of seeing the front cover to my book plastered around all the social network sites I like to frequent. Not too long after today, people are going to start gently suggesting I stop babbling on about this book already. A short while after that, those suggestions are going to get less gentle.

But today. Day 1. Novel Published, achievement unlocked, I am happy. I am proud, and I am utterly grateful.
persephone20: (Default)
It's only one month now until Gothic hits the virtual bookshelves, and this little brown duck is starting to get just a little bit excited.



A couple of things have happened in the last little while, most of it on the Leap of Faith website. Last time I posted to promote this little work, I know I had a friend of mine ask about where my name was on the list of 'coming soon' books and/or authors. And now, Ta Da!!

Photobuckethttp://www.leapoffaithpublishing.com/Nicole%20D.%20Fergusson.html

Does this change me? Does the promise of instant fame, riches and adoration transform who I am at some basic level? Does it inflate my ego, make me feel like my hours spent slaving over my laptop lifeline are all worthwhile now?

Mostly, Gothic's release date makes me keenly aware that there is a sequel novel that I need to finish polishing up, and 20 pages of notes in another document for a third novel in this series that I still need to round up the time to write up. As for instant fame, riches and adoration... I think I'll just settle for picking up a second contract after this one ;)

But I'm chuffed. About Gothic and about having that first book published in a number of years, I definitely feel chuffed. :)

Anyone who has had anything at all to do with writing/editing/publishing knows that this is not a quick process. I first started writing Gothic in October last year, got the acceptance letter for Gothic back in February of this year, and with edits, formatting, cover art and everything else, this project will span almost a full year of work. I'm not the only one who's invested a lot of time and energy into this book. My publisher has kept me awash with how excited she is about this book, how excited she is to have readers devouring it. My editor has kept me humble and continued to insist that dashes are needed where ellipses currently sit. My friends have reblogged my Tumblr posts on their own sites with beautiful messages convincing any and all that they should, must, will buy Gothic if they have anything to do about it.

And, of course, there's my beautiful fiancee, who brought me tea and hot chocolate when I was writing the first draft of Gothic for several hours a day in the space of a week. Who went on long walks talking about this book during the editing process. Who has checked in with me every couple of weeks or whenever it's been a little while since he heard something new on the book front.

Who is singularly to blame for inspiring the 20 pages of notes on the third book, most of which was dot pointed before the second book even got to polishing stages.

And who puts my dream of writing first a lot of the time.

I'm really looking forward to having this book out. I'm really looking forward to sharing that moment with every single one of these people.
persephone20: (little storm in a teacup)
I come to you today, fresh from my first day at a new job, thinking that I will have a couple of weeks away from my writing to recharge and re-energise after the last week of restructuring one novel, editing another and beginning two new ones.

Here I am, ready to take the world by storm.

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(in a couple of weeks)


Then today, I get an email from my friendly, neighbourhood publisher.

"Erm, ehm, promotion, promotion, promotion!"

Imagine me headdesking at this moment as I scratch my head and utter, 'I knew I forgot something...'

So!

Leap of Faith LLC have been kind enough to take a ... leap of faith :D ... with my new novel Gothic, which is in final stages of editing and awaiting cover art.

Gothic is the first in a new paranormal romance series sketched together in the middle of my Honours year last year (much less stressful than the writing I was actually researching and getting marked on, I tell you! (Anyone who has ever done an Honours year can tell you this is true.)) Of course, then I talked to my partner about this book I had just written and he said, 'So what happens if you did this next...?' and so a series was born.

But Gothic... I have had so much fun writing this story.

It's a story of a human girl, Dahlia, who's mother died when she was eight. After her father ran away with grief, she was taken in by her vampire godmother and the rest of the werewolf pack of which her father had been a part. When the story starts, Dahlia has just moved out of home and wants to live the 'normal' life, i.e. a life without quite so much vampire and werewolf influence. In the first few weeks of class, she finds out that her godmother has contacted one of her vampire friends to watch over her. He, Elliott, ends up being one of her confidants. Another student, and human girl, Renee ends up being another close friend.

Hijinx ensue! Time for some more visual assist:



Renee meets our girl Dahlia through her normal university boyfriend. She's super cute and acts about half her age because she wants to get the university experience "just right". Elliott is another supernatural featuring in Dahlia's full supernatural dance card. He is of the mild snark and general hilarity, and claims at times to have brushed elbows with such popular figures as Lord Byron and Bram Stoker.

One of the best parts of this story is that I have clear images for both of these characters. The lovely actors who are acting as muses in my head right now are none other than the lovely Ms Ksenia Solo from Lost Girl and Mr Ian Somerhalder (nicknamed 'Smoulderhalder' with good reason by fellow cast mate AND GIRLFRIEND Nina Dobrev) from The Vampire Diaries. Say what you will about these shows, but these two people are gorgous. Anyone who knows me will know I shamelessly fangirl this TV series that is based on the L. J. Smith series of books from my childhood.

So that's me and mine for in the last little while. More news and excerpts to come next time I get a chance to be on the computer.

The scoop:

Mar. 15th, 2012 07:21 pm
persephone20: (Default)
There have been a bunch of people asking me what is going on with this 'new job' that I've been talking about on my Twitter this last week. People are bound to start doing the same when I start writing about the boy's 'new job' as well. So this is a post that is aimed to fix that.

The Goss:

Two Saturdays ago, I was told I wasn't needed at Of Science and Swords. Sad face. Lots of big damned crying actually, as well as my absence at a good friend's birthday party. Which is why I haven't gone into detail about that. I loved that job, and I wasn't really happy by the way it was handled at the end of it. But I have two beautiful boys who looked after me and whom I really didn't leave the sight of for the next four days.
*loves on*

I had been looking around for jobs that were going to give me more hours in addition to the bookshop job, as one day work a week (maybe two if someone was sick / had a funeral), was not enough. Especially since I finished my Honours and decided against picking up a PhD straight away.

Without any continuing obligations owing to Of Science and Swords, I upped my job search from part time to full time. Last Tuesday I had an interview. Last Thursday I had a job. Tomorrow I'll have been in training for an Origin customer service role for a week. Not highly interesting stuff but, like at the bookshop, they've been good enough to let me go for a casual pay rate and so I feel like I've had a dollar per hour increase in wages for another job where I can sit in front of a computer and deal with customers. Albeit, I won't be so interested in the product people are asking about but what can you do?

The truly exciting news is the news one of my boys came home with tonight. For the last week, we've been sitting on the news that a company has been head-hunting him. There have been to-ing and fro-ing emails arranging things like his job description, pay packet, location for work as they are a Sydney based company. In the last week, we've been asked if we would consider moving up to Sydney.

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We did consider it, and then came back with a firm answer of no. Pretty much, you guys are all too damned awesome to leave behind.

So we're not moving to Sydney. But they were still interested in hiring my boy. Basically, they wanted his experience and expertise and are willing to do a lot to have it. Today, he came home with the news that the job had been formally offered to him, with conditions that he was pleased to accept and that, in two weeks, he will be moving from his current company to the new one.

And spending the next two weeks over in Sydney. Starting the day before his 31st birthday.*

Yeaaah.

Still, many of these things are good things and of the moving forward variety!


*It's the boy's request that if congratulations are forthcoming, they be said in person or through private messages on FB. Thanks :)
persephone20: (little storm in a teacup)
This is largely for my reference, but here's something to keep you all interested all the same:

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Shadows of Melbourne (original trilogy of stories):
Paranormal romance.
Gothic: A novel where the main character, and the whole cast of characters, is introduced. Also, main character would like to be anywhere but in a paranormal novel. Fairly werewolf centric. Finished.
Carnival: Main character is a fair bit more settled with the fact she's not going to manage to escape her paranormal life. The fae get involved and the vampires and werewolves have a territory war. Read a bit of Last Watch for inspiration here. Finished, but for the shouting of it.
Collateral (working title): Main character is being pursued as a pawn in the games of the fae, vampires have long memories and may have to get around that in order to form an alliance with the werewolves they know against the enemy they don't.

Winters Duology:
Young adult.
Tidal Wave: Themes of broken families written from the perspective of a sixteen year old girl, drug use and addiction, with a happy ending for the heroine. Finished.
Shutter Down: Written from the step brother of the other book, sociopathy and bad boy themes where the bad boy doesn't automatically get the girl.

Untitleds:
Young adult lesbian/coming out story:
Constance Murray, calls herself Con, refers to herself as 'himself', cross dresses much to the dismay of her parental units and the kids at school who thinks she's a big freak just going for attention. She doesn't have a lot of friends apart from Kjell who is pretty sure that he is gay.
Alice Psyche Waterhouse, born of rather parents who both legally changed their names to Waterhouse when they married and gave all their children names of god/desses as middle names. Alice is the shiest one of the bunch and does her best not to be noticed, currently trying out not being gay.
Young adult gay/coming out story:
Kjell Strøm, comes from rather non-conventional Norwegian immigrants who moved to Australia after a schism with his mother's parents, they will object to anything that her parents would accept on principle. Kjell has told his grandparents that he is gay but not his parents, wants true love but has started to accept that it's not something that's going to happen in high school.
Adrian Hardy, arrogant transfer student in last year of high school, estranged from his family and currently living on his own because he wasn't dealing with being gay, projected onto them how they were supposed to react and got out of there early.

Fairy tale series:
Either an anthology of short stories, or a couple of longer pieces, where both romantic leads in the fairy tales are the same gender. An idea sparked off by a conversation with @InkBats.
persephone20: (Default)
I'm really starting to hate this stereotype that women need to hate Valentine's Day, or at least be indifferent to it, in order to be some sort of kickass modern girl. Statements like 'she's my kind of girl' that seem to follow this observation are really starting to piss me off. Seems to insinuate that there's something wrong with any girl who gets excited over Valentine's Day. And there's not. Not any more than a girl who hates it or is indifferent to the whole gimmick.

Valentine's Day is merely one day out of the year that can be put aside to spend with your loved one(s). I've seen it spark of other lovely offshoots, such as I'm Already Busy on Tuesday, Let's Go Out On Thursday Instead Day (February 16th), Polyamorous Chocolate Day (March 14th), and even We Haven't Gone Out For a While and That Dinner We Had in Feb Was Great, So Let's Do It Again Day (Dates to be confirmed).

Negativity such as 'But it's just a commercial holiday to sell cards and chocolates' has no place there. Apart from perhaps, 'Yes. And?' Because I've found the responce to that most commonly is some regurgitation of,'And I'm a Modern Woman. I don't need to feed in to commercial culture to feel special.'

Well, why not? What's wrong with being spoilt by your partner for a night? And what's wrong with, months or weeks later, you decide to return the favour and spoil them right back? What's the harm in Valentine's Day then? Most of my Valentine's Days haven't even included a card or any chocolates, but a nice dinner at a favoured restaurant instead.

With this swing towards anti-Valentine's Day, I can't help but be put in mind of the way that housewives were treated after women's liberation had women going out into the work force. A woman liking Valentine's Day has almost become the new, 'But I like being a housewife and I like looking after my husband and kids' made her less of a modern woman. She was kicking women's lib in the teeth, or knocking it back 20 years, or some nonsense.

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I don't like the idea of being a housewife. Cleaning bathrooms squicks me out far too much for that, especially when I have a perfectly good boy to do it for me. Never mind the kids! But I really like looking after my boy, my girl, or whoever I'm dating, when it comes down to it. I didn't always like Valentine's Day. As a teen girl, I too felt the empowerment of 'I don't need Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is stupid and lame and I don't want any part in it.' Maybe that's the reason why I'm standing here on my soap box. Looking back, I can't see any good reason why I didn't celebrate Valentine's Day with my first boyfriend, especially since we had a regular date night around the middle of each month every month except for February.

And I don't think that makes me any less than the next girl because I like Valentine's Day.
persephone20: (Default)
Warning: This is not going to be a nice review. In fact, starting right now, we are going to call this an 'anti-review'. This is not one of those reviews where the reviewer is going to have a couple of problems with the pacing of the story or some of the characters but, overall, the story managed to pull itself together.

Warning the Second: I did recognise, when I picked this book up off the shelves that it was aimed at young adults. I love reading young adult books. I think of the young adult fiction today and I wish that it had been around when I was 16 years old. As it wasn't, I make it up by reading lots of it now. In other parts of this blog, you will find me waxing poetic about authors like Francesca Lia Block, Melissa Marr and Janni Lee Simner.


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To set the scene, I am wandering innocently through the airport with my friend [personal profile] the_bone_yard when suddenly the call of a bookshop proves too strong for us to ignore. The two of us walk in and I get distracted by a book on the New Release stand.

Now, this book is not Hush, Hush, but rather the third book in the trilogy, Crescendo. I shall get back to that again later.

Weaving my way further into the shop, I find that, right up against the very back wall, there is a couple of copies of the second book. This should have been my first hint: right up against the very back wall. Not only that but, when I move the second book to read the back of it, I find the first book craftily hidden.

Lucky! I think to myself. I read the blurb of the first book. And then I read the blurb of second and third books over again, in order this time.

My Thoughts upon Reading the Blurbs: Oh goodness! This is so brilliant. The first book looks like it's going to run like City of Angels, minus the depressing resignation I feel every time I see that picture of stupid Meg Ryan closing her eyes and taking her hands off the handle bars on the back of the DVD case. What did you think was going to happen, Meg?

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But, Oho! I think, as I look again upon the second and third books. That there are two sequels means that the main character must live past the end of the first book. She doesn't take her hands off the handlebars, close her eyes and look up into the sky because, well gosh, it's such a lovely day. And so we'll have two more books in which to explore what should have happened in City of Angels.

I'm so excited I can barely think straight. I picture me closing myself up in my bedroom, putting on my copy of the City of Angels soundtrack for background music and ambiance, before indulging in my guiltiest little pleasure since The Vampire Diaries.

The prologue of Becca's Hush, Hush is very good. It conveys a sense of scene very well, though touches lightly enough on the characters that I am sitting there wanting to know more about them. I am invested within these 5 pages, and am looking forward to more.

It's a pity, then, that there is no indication for the next 100 pages where this scene in the prologue is meant to fit in.

Instead, we begin to follow the every day life of a teenage school girl in whom a supernatural type figure has become fascinated with before ever even once speaking to her. I think, at one point, he says something along the lines of, "You're fascinating. I knew you would be."

.... How??!!

This is something that is not explained. I have read enough books like this in the last 12 years to know, by now, it is never explained. Anywhere in all the world for an immortal man to go, and he'll always choose the high school full of teenaged girls. Not creepy, guys. Not creepy at all.

In hindsight, I suspect my disappointment in this book had more to do with what I saw as misrepresentation of the back cover blurbs. Usually, I don't read them. I go on suggestions on what to read next by other writers or friends who have similar tastes. But I'd never heard of Becca's books before, and so I read the blurbs.

Truthfully, this book will probably be found thrilling by readers of Twilight. Many of the same tropes are used in both.
persephone20: (lanterns)
I sincerely love this blog that @gailcarriger has incidentally gotten me onto.

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http://steampunkscholar.blogspot.com.au/

In the most recent post, he writes about Gail Carriger's steampunk novel, the beginning of the Parasol Protectorate series, Soulless, compares it to Bram Stoker's Dracula and draws parallels between the New Woman of works written 100 years ago and now but set in the same time. The combination of contemporary content and academic exploration makes this a blog after my own heart!

Also on the site, he has tabs for both primary and secondary sources for her steampunk PhD for people to trawl through.

One of the recent posts up there is on Sherlock Holmes: The Breath of God by Guy Adams, which I'm just about to read and didn't even know about till I found this blog.
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I've been pondering the obligatory year in review post around work and... well, just work actually. Uni is finished for the year... maybe for longer. I've gotten both my thesis and my mark for Honours mailed back to me in the past week, and I've officially started lying that I haven't yet had either. Particularly to the in-laws who have all the high aspirations for me and knew my plans to go into PhD next year.

I'm couching the idea of 'taking a year off' next year like it was I choice I was allowed to make.

However, when I'm talking to people more broadly, when I'm looking over 2011 and comparing it to years most recently before it, I'm coming up with a whole lot of smiles. This year has been without drama, I say with confidence. This year has been happy, and positive, and wonderful. This conveniently forgets and leaves out the stress headaches, the crying at mid year over my first low mark (but not my last..) and all the other hurdles along the way.

But then, a friend of mine -- someone I didn't really know last year, but someone who has moved towards being one of my best friends over the course of this year -- wrote something in her year in review and I believe it's what I've been trying to say all along: It has not been a year without drama, but with that drama have come some rather astounding revelations.

Although it's a bit hard looking at the Honours year without seeing it as a bit of a waste of time right now, I've stopped obsessing about it and am starting to look up at the options surrounding me, options that have no doubt been all around me for the last couple of years when I've had my head down and bum up resolutely pouring over books in my uncompromising journey to the top of the academic mountain.

So, it's a good thing to have this opportunity to breathe and take stock of the rest of the world. It's even a good thing that it's something I've been forced into, as I clearly would not have done it if left to my own devices.

It's a good thing to have had the support of so many friends this year. I can, for the first time in years, say that none of the drama this year has been caused by anyone I hold close to my heart. In fact, I just have so much love for all of my close people that I can barely contain it as I type these words. You are all amazing.

And, in the balance, this year has been amazing.

Day three

Nov. 10th, 2011 12:28 pm
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So, its our last night away already. And I've had such a gorgeous day.

Had a loooong walk along the beach today. Two, actually. The first was for gelati-lunch. The second was fish and chips later on. I came back from that trip wet from the hips down and planning more beach trips in my head. We are so lucky here in Australia to have such gorgeous coastlines. All too often I take it for granted.

And there was more writing. But, more than that, there was reading. I've really gotten into Joanne Harris. Reading Blackberry Wine right now, along with Silence of the Lambs. Finally got to the point in the book today where I understood why the book is called that. That was fun. Had a great exclamation about it that led me to reading the passage aloud to my boy.

Anyway, heading into the bathroom to have a shower right now. I don't know. Got these cold legs from running around in the shallows of the ocean tonight. I mean, who does that, really?

:D

Day two

Nov. 9th, 2011 12:26 pm
persephone20: (Default)
It seems that being away has inspired me to write and write and write. When I'm home and my laptop is connected to the net again, there is going to be so much more of my future fic I'd just started! It seems it's decided it wants to be my nano.

These always sneak up on me.

Day one

Nov. 8th, 2011 12:25 pm
persephone20: (Default)
So, we got to the beach house at about 10pm last night. Had trouble opening the door, had to call the friend who is loading us the house. It was a whole big thing.

But then we got into the house...

It's this gorgeous big house like you see in the movies with a huge window facing the beach. When I stepped out of the bedroom this morning, it was the first thing I saw. I was struck absolutely dumb. We are so close to the beach. It's like the movie Something's Gotta Give. Diane Keaton? It's like that. Stunning. Absolutely. And I'm here till Friday!

Right now, I'm curled up right in front of the big window, reading Silence of the Lambs and getting utterly distracted by the view in front of me.
persephone20: (Default)
Spent last night looking up a couple of publishing houses that might be a fit for my work. So far, there are two places that have been suggested to me by friends and contacts that I've built up over the years and from the last time when I was published online.

I've been offered one publishing house to submit to, as well as having been suggested in the direction of another so far. Both e-pubs, but with print on demand options.

I remember getting so sick of being published last time around. It was mostly because of the marketing. But, also, it was because writing and marketing both are such solitary acts. Last time, when I was doing it, I was in a relationship that was very solitary and just sort of... sucked the excitement out of all the things that I had going on in other areas of my life. I was writing, and I was marketing, but I just didn't have anyone I could get excited about.

Enter new beau or, rather, three-years-and-still-going-strong-beau, and we're talking about this in the kitchen last night. His first response? "What can I do to help? Is there anything I can do?"

Just EEEEEEE and love. :D

Very exciting!!!!
persephone20: (the last thing you'll ever see)
I may have been completely disillusioned by True Blood this last season, but words can't express just how much I'm looking forward to the new season of Game of Thrones!!!

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http://les-bonnes-fees.com/index.html

A couple of years ago, I sent a short story in for submission in an online magazine called Les Bonnes Fees. The story was an original fairy tale about a fairy girl who stepped across the grass and into the life of a human girl, and it owed more than a little in inspiration to W. B. Yeats' poem 'The Stolen Child' and to the novel by the same name written by Keith Donohue.

It's now been a while since that story was getting any sort of attention and I though I might bring it out again. This will be the first time it's appeared in print.

Right now, I'm furiously trying to get it ready for Melbourne's Manifest convention... but I'm starting to feel that this may be a little bit optimistic...
persephone20: (Default)
This is actually not the first time I've dipped my feet into the waters of writing. Why have I returned, you ask?

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I'm real good at talking to my friends and helping them come to 'epiphany' moments. "Oh, I realise this was what was getting me down," or "Damn, I really didn't think about it like that, but..."

My partner is this really inspiring man who sees what he wants in front of him and immediately starts taking strides towards getting it. This isn't without faults -sometimes he pushes too hard, sometimes he falls too low when someone tells him he's dreaming too high- but he takes this stuff in stride, and keeps going. Always keeps going. I kinda look at him in awe.

A good friend just posted the list of Hugos and associated prizes winners, and I realised, I want to win Best New Writer one day. That friend and I have come up with a harmonious deal between us that we will keep each other posted and then keep out of the way during each others' chosen years.

A friend that I work with has just released a book of short stories on Kindle.

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http://www.amazon.com/King-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B005HW4CNM/

I've had it in my head for so long that I'm not going to be a 'Worthwhile Writer (TM)' unless my work is picked up and recognised by a publishing house and, because of that, have sat there on my thumbs and done very little about it.

This is particularly daft because I have been picked up and e-published over in America several times and, for the last five years, have belittled that achievement because 1/ it was genre writing, and 2/ it was e-published.

Then there's this stigma about self-publishing that this exists even though it seems to become less relevant the more technologically savvy and e-book reader reliant we (even in Australia) become. However, that stigma seems to be mainly to do with the quality of editing that these self-published books have.

It was already so hard to get yourself picked up by a publishing house when I was in high school; it's about a hundred or so times more difficult these days. And then, even if/when you get picked up, there are the internal politics of most publishing houses that will put the books/authors that are more known against the unknown writer of dubious sales. I've even heard of someone's book being accepted and then never published, though the house ended up keeping the option for the rest of the two years of the contract.

Don't get me into the fact that, in this day and age, any aspiring writer -or any writer at all, really- needs to get hip deep into their own marketing/publicity side. Again, unless you are a well known author, the majority of publishing houses just aren't going to do that for you.

I look at all of this and I wonder what, really, is the good of waiting for a publishing house to sit up and discover me?

I have these amazing contacts and friends from my e-publishing times, and have since made many more.

I have a workshopping circle I meet with most Tuesdays, and several people who have either established proof reading business or upcoming ones. Hell, the number of people I've had offer just to read my creative thesis as experience for their proof reading business before the end of the year has astounded and flattered me.

I have this wonderful idea for a series of hand bound chapbooks that I've been sitting on for almost a year now (okay, there have been reasons, and perhaps even this close to the end of honours is not the best time for me to be picking this up again but, so, whatever..)

I have this amazing boss who has already told me not to undersell myself if/when I put these chapbooks together and that they will happily sit in our science fiction and fantasy bookshop.

Not to mention the many friends that have come up to me over the years and said that, if I ever do get any of my work published, even self published, that they want to read it because I'm one of the few amateur writers whose work they already enjoy.


So, you know what? I have a goal ahead of me. And that goal is made up of a whole bunch of teeny tiny little steps that may, one day, lead up to that great big goal in the sky: Best New Writer.
persephone20: (Default)
This is an excerpt from a poem I am reading for my last Honours class: Aurora Leigh, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but oh, I wish I could write like this.

And I, so young then, was not sullen. Soon
I used to get up early, just to sit
And watch the morning quicken in the grey,
And hear the silence open like a flower,
Leaf after leaf,–and stroke with listless hand
The woodbine through the window, till at last
I came to do it with a sort of love,
At foolish unaware: whereat I smiled,–
A melancholy smile, to catch myself
Smiling for joy.

...

Often we walked only two,
If cousin Romney pleased to walk with me.
We read, or talked, or quarrelled, as it chanced;
We were not lovers, nor even friends well-matched–
Say rather, scholars upon different tracks,
And thinkers disagreed; he, overfull
Of what is, and I, haply, overbold
For what might be.
persephone20: (little storm in a teacup)
The Queen is dark. Dark skin, dark nails polished and pointy at the ends. Dark lashes grow long from her eyelids, creating cruel shadows over sharp cheekbones. Spider web gossamer makes up the dress that flows from shoulders to ankles. Her dark hair is broken by florescent pink highlights; the only colour.

Around her, subjects pay court. They are in many different shapes and sizes. Horns and wings are popular themes. One small creature seems clothed entirely in vines. Another has bark for hair. They like to leave bark in place of the ones they steal. Bark and bracken. They laugh about it afterwards.

Before them all, a serpentine girl awaits their pleasure. Awaits the Queen's pleasure. None of those paying court are moving. They all are there awaiting the Queen's pleasure; dreading her displeasure.

"Play." The Queen's word is formal.

The serpentine girl is blue and green. Her arms and legs are long, flowing; fingers and toes have extra joints. She is beautiful, hair flowing like water, trinkets in it like goldfish swimming through sea weeds. Her painted skin is bare, perfect globes for breasts that barely move as she twists and turns in impossible contortions that seem perfectly natural to her form.

Her audience stares in silence that is only broken occasionally by awed gasps that she seems hardly aware of. Her hair flows into her face and away again. Her gaze has attached itself to a far-away point on the wall.

"I tire of this quickly," says the Queen. Courtiers look around and a new silence, made of in-held breaths, replaces the last.

The serpentine girl seems not at all surprised. Rumours of this Queen have come a long way, so that when the serpentine girl was summoned, she knew her likely fate. Once, death had been terrible to the long-lived races. Not so with this Queen. Still she had come to make this dance.

As her fate came to fall down upon her, the serpentine girl moved not at all, fingers still and clasped before her smooth nether regions, hair long but still, as though it had never looked like water. Her lips seem big now, pronounced, out of place. Her nose is small. Her gaze is no longer fixed on some far off point. Her stare pins every faerie in place, calling them on their compliance to let this action occur.

It is almost a relief when her head is relieved from her shoulders. It rolls towards several courtiers to the right of the Queen. They all step back into the faeries behind them.

Even the blood runs blue.

The Queen is unmoved. The night is young.

"Next!"

**

I wrote this -- something like this -- a very long time ago.. and then promptly lost it. It's been playing around in my head ever since and tonight, buried nose deep in my new copies of Holly Black's the idea came to me again and I decided to rewrite it. There's a whole novel attached to this vignette, less than half of which is written.

I'm torn between writing that novel for my PhD, or the piece I've been working on and off with since I was 16. 11 years on and I can still stand the sight of the latter. But my interests and exegesis are more in line with the mostly unwritten novel that I've had in mind for only 3 or 4 years.

But hey, at least I'm talking about my PhD again!
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