Completed New Short Story: “Wind”

Finished a new short story called “Wind.”  But it’s more of a novella than a short story, like most of my stuff seems to be.  It’s about 20,000 words.  Modern fantasy romance.  With a lot of sass.

Thomas, alone on Christmas Eve and missing his recently deceased mother (and her cookies!), is startled out of his funk by a knock at the door. Enter the mysterious Windy, a beautiful and apparently magical girl who claims to be Thomas’s personal fairy.

Windy enters Thomas’s life in a big way and becomes a special part of it even as he tries to figure out where she fits and whether she’s really what she says she is. But Thomas isn’t the only one struggling; Windy has some doubts and confusions regarding her existence as well. After realizing how they feel about each other, they have to figure out what to do to make being together possible. But can magic fit into Thomas’s life? And how real is she anyway? They might just have to pull away to find out how close they are.

I might eventually try to publish this, but it’s kinda long.

 

Ready to Query: Bad Fairy

After years of editing, processing feedback, and researching what I’m supposed to do to submit manuscripts and whatnot, I’m ready to query for this book.  Thanks to the following people for helping me edit:

These folks read the entire thing and gave comments: Jeremy, Mike Lee, Fred, Keggernaught, Meggie, Ronni, Cara, Stacy, Mikey, Jan-Martin, Daddy, Dorian, Jessie, and Victor.  These folks read part of it and gave comments: Jeaux, Laura, Miriam, Steve, Dan, Whitney, Sarah, Dieter, Adam, Phil M., Brian, Zack, Trisha, Chandan Aubel, and Dan B.

It’s ridiculously gigantic.  But the fairy tale retelling thing is popular.  Maybe I’ll get somewhere.  Unfortunately, some agents want my query letter to mention its length and I feel like that is going to kill me before I have a chance to get my foot in the door.

Scenario: Agent of interest opens package containing query letter, synopsis, and first thirty pages. Agent scans query and drinks coffee. Agent is spurred into spitting coffee all over the the pages in either horror or wild amusement (you pick).

Continue reading

Quoted: Contemporary Sexuality

Jumping off some quotes I made to Salon earlier this year, I seem to have found myself quoted a bunch of times in AASECT’s newsletter, Contemporary Sexuality.

Asexuality Gets More Attention, But Is It a Sexual Orientation?

aasectI wasn’t specifically asked about having my quotes appear here, but I was represented pretty well. Sadly, the article does spend a lot of time suggesting asexuality is a trend and what danger asexual people pose to other people exploring their sexuality since, you know, it’s such a fad and it’s probably about repression. Oh well.

New Webcomic: Negative One

I love the old Ivy stories I wrote in college—from my modern fantasy series, The House That Ivy Built—but her story just isn’t cohesive enough to survive as a marketable novel, so I think one cool thing I can do with it is make a webcomic about it.  So . . . that’s exactly what I’m doing.

This alternating-story webcomic will update every Friday for the foreseeable future.  And since it’s pretty much my own thing, you can expect a lot of sort of indulgent narration.  But if you like that sort of thing, perhaps this webcomic will be up your alley.

Completed New Short Story: “Just Like Stephen”

Finished a new short story called “Just Like Stephen.” Genre: Modern fantasy.  Word count: About 7,000 words.

In the society in which the protagonist lives, magic is a rare but real part of life, cropping up somewhat randomly among the population. Unfortunately, admitting to having magic is a one-way ticket to a government-run institution where officials channel the magical people’s powers into controlled projects. The government basically considers having magic the same as having a sickness, and it’s true that it can cause insanity, so they claim to be helping the magical people by institutionalizing them and training them.

The protagonist’s older brother Stephen developed magic one day, and suddenly everything was different—he had to be taken away, and no one seemed to care but him. Before leaving, Stephen urges his brother to try to hide his magic if he develops it later, which they both suspect he will. And in the present, the protagonist, now nineteen, has taken his brother’s advice and has hidden his magic for four years. Unfortunately, magic has a way of deciding when it’s going to be used, and this is a story of how he answers that call without letting anyone else hear him.

I’ll be pursuing publication for this.  Eventually.

Completed New Novel: Bad Fairy

Finished writing Bad Fairy!  Took about 5 weeks, except I had to take a break when I had a houseguest.  (Hey Fred.)

Genre: Fantasy (fairy tale retelling).

Length: 41 chapters/815 pages/~255,000 words.

Tag line: “What happened before Sleeping Beauty slept?”

Keywords: FANTASY: Fairy tale retelling, medieval period fantasy, Sleeping Beauty, fairies, magic, magick, dark fantasy, reincarnation, elemental magic, identity issues, quirky narrators, epistolary, autobiography (character).

Protagonist: Delia Morningstar.

POV: First person, past tense.

About:

Delia Morningstar is a precocious and inquisitive half-fairy girl whose great talent and drive mark her for a promising future. But she has some peculiar interests: What is she learning when she dabbles in forbidden “dark” magick, and why does she have such an interest in the afterlife?

Shunned by popular society, she struggles to make her own living, but when one of her attempts to help her kingdom is misunderstood, she is held responsible for a curse on baby Aurora, her kingdom’s beloved princess. Now forced into hiding, Delia must live in disguise as a typical fairy and continue to work toward a surprising goal: Saving the princess from death. While tweaking destiny from behind her mask, Delia discovers many unexpected aspects of both herself and her enemies. Though she ultimately succeeds in her original goal, she finds that dealing with who she’s become is a battle she’s only beginning.

Next up: Lots of editing!

New Novel: Bad Fairy

Started a new book!  The working title is Bad Fairy.

About:

Bad Fairy is the story of Delia Morningstar, a fairy whose involvement with her kingdom’s princess inspired the story of Sleeping Beauty.  Written as an autobiography of the bad fairy, it tells the tale of how Delia grew up, made her enemies, got blamed for a curse, and spent part of her life in hiding.

It’s based on a short story I wrote in 2000.  When Francesca Lia Block’s book The Rose and the Beast came out, some other fans and I wrote our own retold fairy tales to celebrate the release, and when one of my friends reviewed the short story and said it could make a great novel, I decided to find out if he was right.

 

New Novel: Joint Custody

Started a new book!  The working title is Joint Custody.

Genre: Kids’ fiction (middle reader/realistic fiction).

Length: 5 chapters/62 pages/~18,500 words.

Status: In progress/on hold/back burner.

Tag line: “Mom’s house” or “Dad’s house.” Where’s “my house”?

Keywords: KIDS’ FICTION: Juvenile, school, divorce, family issues, animal rights.

Protagonist: Bainbridge Kavin Cassidy (“Bay”).

POV: First person, present tense.

About:

I started writing Joint Custody after a long string of reading Newbery Award-winning books that disappointed me. I heard myself saying “I could do better than THAT!” several times before it struck me that if that was the case, I should do so. Joint Custody is the result. I figured it needed to address a relevant issue for children these days, so I picked divorce. But it also needed to be unique, and if anything, Bay is unique. When I finally finish this book, I hope many kids will relate to him. This is aimed at upper elementary school kids.

This book catalogs the mental wanderings of a confused kid called Bay. It reads a bit like stream-of-consciousness, but in his roundabout way, he really is saying something and making observations. Bay’s parents split up when he was very young, and now he feels as though he has no home. He is either at “Mom’s house” or “Dad’s house.” Bay is kinda thinky for an eleven-year-old, and he shares his philosophical ponderings about roadkill, conformity, having two houses, and the mysterious girl named Marz who’s always taking his picture. First-person present-tense story about a kid who thinks a little differently and just wants to know where home is.

Completed New Short Story: “Uncle Avery’s Garden”

Finished a new short story called “Uncle Avery’s Garden.”  It’s actually on the short side, at about 1,400 words.  Sentimental fiction.

A college girl debates over whether to spend her hundred-dollar bill that was given to her as a child by her departed Uncle Avery. She wonders whether it will be disrespectful to do so, even though she really needs the money, because she promised not to and has managed to hold out so long. A dream she has helps her clarify the importance of the gift.

Probably will not try to publish this.  I think it’s kinda sappy. But maybe someone will think it’s also kinda sweet?