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Sale! um... Sale again!


Sale!!

The Drabblecast took my lovely surreal story, Betty Flesh and the Meat Man, after several rewrites with the ever courteous Nathaniel Lee. That was very fun, as I saw how to simplify without losing tone. The Drabblecast is a very high quality, if occasionally "boysy" podcast, narrated by the ooooooohhhh, gorgeous-voiced Norm Sherman. They generally use apt music and effects and I can't wait to hear the tale read aloud.

An excerpt:

"It isn't Saturday." Ma rapped on Betty's head with the back of her shining metal hook. "No going floaty today, girl."

"No, Ma."

Ma only allowed Betty to be floaty on Saturdays. Then, Betty wrote poetry, rescued injured animals and saw tragic sorrow in the silhouettes of trees. The rest of the week, she prepared meat. Briskets, chops, neck, rib and tongue, red flecks under her fingernails, the smell of iron and blood -- Betty knew this was her future. But something inside slipped away to windswept headlands and moonlit waves whenever it could, and she... went floaty. She did not know why. Maybe meat was not in her blood....


Aaaand --

SALE!

A 10K novella, Seven Lovers and the Sea, to Lethe Press for a Queering Bram Stoker's Dracula anthology. This story really stretched me. I took a big risk and let it grow, trusting I was keeping it taut until it reached the max wordcount and luckily it climaxed there. :)  I worked hard during editing to thread many themes throughout, develop them and pay them off one by one towards the end. (Thanks to sacredmime for pointing out two that needed some closure.) I learned a lot about sustaining a longer narrative, and am hoping to keep stretching that limit until voila! I find a novel on my hard drive. Many people helped with really focussed crits. This story, despite the title and the snippet below, does not involve much sex at all.

An excerpt:

"Amramoff," he said. His voice surprised us both. It left behind a silence, in which I became aware of his grip on my biceps, and the closeness of his mouth to mine. From the fo'castle, the bell sounded five. Below us, the water lurched in shadow. Olgaren's eyes were wide and silver-blue. They closed as our lips touched.

We only kissed that night. I stumbled back on deck, confused, and terrified I had been caught, but nothing stirred above. Only the night bird, half a mile away on shore, cut the silence before dawn with its hollow cry...

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Liberty Hall shout out


This is just a teeny post to say Liberty Hall is running a Polish Challenge for stories aaaaalmost ready to sub. Do you have a tale to enter? I'm waiting for entries, so I think the deadline would have to be tomorrow. Let me know with comments here or at LH itself if you want to enter but may tarry more than 24 hours in prepping your tale for surgery...

The meme of seven


From TL Morganfield's LJ page.

The rules:

1. Go to page 77 (or 7) of your current ms
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.

I hoped mine would be a deep character portrayal or some stunning description, instead I found myself in the middle of an action sequence:

...Petrofsky rose with the gutting knife in his hand, and I threw myself upon him.

He yelled as my weight hit him and we fell. His head thumped off the deck beneath me and his surprise turned instantly to rage. Luckily the knife had tumbled aside or he would have stabbed me, I am sure. Instead he twisted and threw me free. His fist flashed and my temple exploded with stars. I managed to land three punches of my own before firm hands tore us apart.

"What is this boys?" The Captain spat on the boards between us. His eyes flashed. "Who began this?"

I shook off the hands that gripped me. "He had a knife," I said, staring at the deck.

"I was not going to cut him," Petrofsky said. "I was going to show Olgaren how to gut fish..."

This is from "Chrysophile," my current novella, only a scant thousand words before I reach the end of draft zero and can begin to scrape it into a passable first draft...

A bit of my patio


Some amaryllis with lilies overcrowding them from behind. First come frescias peeking through the slats, then the amaryllis (on their way out now,) and lastly the lilies...

More Wooden Things


I've now made the last bench for the Artisan Square. Well, the last one isn't quite so much as a bench, as the function of bench expressed in holey cubes...

Bench number one, which we have seen before:





Bench number two, diagonal view






Bench number two, full frontal:





Bench number three:





Bench number three, centre cube:





Detail of a hole or two:





I also hand carved a Tai Chi wooden practise sword.




That's all folks!

Watchupto?


I haven't had time for much writing or even reading. Instead I've been getting to know a new partner and making wooden things.





A bench - the first of three, commissioned for the Artisan Square on market days. I'll be making the next two over the coming weeks.



My market stall lurks in the backround. You can see my mother on a stepladder.



A tray I made for a friend. The design is carved out of the background with a Dremel, and filled with black woodfiller, then sanded smooth. The colours are layers of varnish stain.



I make several of these a week.




And several trillion of these...

In March people begin to think about their gardens, so it is often our best month (after August, of course, height of tourist season.) I'm working hard just to keep on top of the stock we sell weekly. When things slow down as they inevitably do in May, I'll think about having me a wee break. :)

Nothing at all


Do you know how many deep and fascinating blog posts I think of while I'm in the carpentry? Ooooh, studies of grief, ideas about language, revelations about writing, posts about how ridiculous my cats are, about dreaming I met God (who was Jose Luis Zapatero, ex PM of Spain...)

And they all disappear into smoke whenever I sit down at the keyboard. I have writing and critting and playing of Skyrim to do...

If I was constantly connected, could access the net using eyeblinks and subvocalised commands, I could multi-task with the best of 'em. I'm sure the quality of my products would deteriorate, and I would probably go mad, but it seems very attractive at the mo. Ah, well. Earmuffs on, goggles and ipod, too. Off to earn my keep. We sold incredibly well yesterday at the market, so no day off for me this week. Got to train a new employee as I had to sack the last one when he didn't turn up or phone to let me know three times in a row... Ahh, here's the new one now... Must go.

Almost two years ago, I sold "Continuity," - one of my favourite stories - about an astronaut (who weighs over 200 tonnes) and her gender confused allies in a perpetual war with the ship's AI.

At last, Anywhere But Earth, 700+ pages of juicy sci-fi goodness has just been released in both hard copy and ebook formats.

"Award winning independent Australian press coeur de lion publishing presents twenty-nine all new science fiction stories of humanity’s adventures out there, anywhere but Earth, featuring original works by Margo Lanagan, Sean McMullen, Richard Harland, and Kim Westwood among a galaxy of new and established speculative fiction authors... "

If you want a copy or ten, pop over here and check it out. :)

http://keithstevenson.com/CDLblog/online-store/

Spam here please


I get a lot of random spam in my LJ comments. What's the point? Has anyone ever, ever, ever clicked a link a spammer has left in a comment?

But I've decided not to delete any spam posted in THIS post, just to see what builds up. If you comment here and are legit, I'll probably delete it. ;)

In other news, random bursts of creativity have resulted in a sculpture and a lot of words. I'll try to post about them soon.

Meanwhile, spam away.

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Surf 'n Lava Writer's Retreat


Well, the dates (if not the title, hmmm) of the first Surf 'n Lava Writer's Retreat are now finalised. From the 6th - 20th November, my house and environs are open to writers who want to come along and knuckle down. Tom Crosshill will make an appearance for a week, and there have been rumours that a certain were-feline may deign to pass through for a weekend or two. Hope so.

Seriously, if you want to visit the isles, this is your chance. There is an apartment next door to which my wifi reaches, and which could be rented out for less than commercial rates. Or there are my guest beds, if the aforementioned writers are not occupying them.

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