glitter_n_gore: (will graham)
Greetings! We are in our second week of Pride Month and I’m talking about Remus Lupin--more specifically, the question of whether the character is bisexual.

Since Lupin is the only one of the werewolves on my list who is not explicitly confirmed in the text as bi, I took a poll. Here's what it looked like:

Screenshot of Twitter poll with question “Is Remus Lupin Bisexual?” and results
Yes = 63%
No = 13%
Not Sure = 13%
Whatever JK Says = 11%

I asked more informally on my regular blog as well. As you can see, results were mixed. More so than I had anticipated. This is why I wanted to start here. More often than not, LGBT fans do a lot of guesswork to figure out if there are any non-straight, non-cisgender people in the fictional universe we're being shown. Unless it's a world that's helmed by a writer/director/producer who's actively trying to create more diversity in that particular area, it’s down to the audience to interpret what we’re given.

Read more. . . )
glitter_n_gore: (freddie lounds)
James Dashner's The Maze Runner series has four books, including the prequel that was published last, and movie adaptations for the first two, The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials. I've seen both, and while I certainly have a lot to say about both, for the purposes of keeping things relatively spoiler-free (and also not testing my blood pressure any more than absolutely necessary) I'm gonna stick with the first one.

Book cover via Goodreads

I don't like them.

Rather, I like the idea of this story, and I rather liked the movie by comparison--which is unusual, as I tend to like the book better than the movie--more than its execution. Certainly there have been worse things to happen to the YA Dystopia sub-genre in the wake of The Hunger Games, but this one bothers me for a very specific reason that I haven't seen in any other YA Dystopia so far.

Read more. . . )
glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
A couple weeks ago, the following trailer was released for the upcoming movie adaptation of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children:

Honestly? I think it looks fun. I'm a big fan of reigning Queen of the Goths, Eva Green, and was immediately excited when I heard she'd been cast as the enigmatic Miss Peregrine herself. Also, say what you will about Tim Burton--he knows his audience, and he still has the capacity to create some stunning visuals and memorable characters when he starts with a good story. And this is a good story.

Read more... )
glitter_n_gore: (emma)
Credit for this blog idea is due to fellow AW member Cyia, who made the following post last week: "Just an observation, but looking at the differences in the ages of the characters in the books [of A Song of Ice and Fire] compared to their portrayals on screen, all of the main favored characters, with the possible exception of Tyrion [. . .] would have made this one of, if not the most popular YA series ever written. The POV would just have to shift a bit. Even the biggest baddie, in the form of a psycho boy king, would have been YA territory."

Have to say, I've never thought of it that way before. But she makes a fascinating point: A Song of Ice and Fire is more densely populated with teen characters--properly defined, developed, plot-driving characters, not just stereotypes and fillers--than most of the actual category YA books I've read. Seriously.

It's hard to remember this if you come to the series through the show, because so many of the characters were aged up; HBO has fewer limitations than network television about what it can and can't show, but there are Rules about minor actors and the sorts of scenes they can legally participate in. In the books, an overwhelming majority of the POV characters--Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Theon Greyjoy, Samwell Tarly, Arya, Bran and Sansa Stark--are all under 18. That's not even counting secondary characters who don't have POV chapters but still play major roles, like Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Ygritte, the Reeds, and Margaery Tyrell, who are all teenagers. Hell, even Jaime Lannister, who is technically an adult when we meet him, spends a big chunk of his narrations in flashbacks from when he first became a knight, at age fifteen.

As it happens, roughly the same time Cyia brought this up, an article started making the rounds from Slate about how grown-ups who read YA should be ashamed of themselves because: "There’s room for pleasure, escapism, juicy plots, and satisfying endings on the shelves of the serious reader. [. . . ] But if they are substituting maudlin teen dramas for the complexity of great adult literature, then they are missing something." (Full article here.)


Back to this again, are we?

So, every few months or so an article like this surfaces to scold the general populace for enjoying things that someone's decided are unworthy of being enjoyed. I still don't know why this is important. Since the Slate article has already been roundly debunked by a number of bloggers much more prolific than me, I don't even have to go there.

What I do want to ask is this: What is YA? The trouble with this question is, when you start trying to work out what YA is, you find it's a lot easier to dig up false assumptions about what YA isn't. There seem to be a lot of rules and expectations that actual YA books pretty much ignore, such as whether or not you can have gruesome violence, detailed sex scenes, foul language, etc., etc., etc. Look, either a given story calls for that kind of thing, or it doesn't, and all you need to do is pick up a handful of real live books in any category to discount any of those elements as qualifiers. Still, there are a few elements some say are required in YA that I find more compelling. But not entirely convincing.

Read more. . . )

*Let's leave Battle Royale out of this for now--it's a great piece of work, but reached a much narrower audience, and didn't spark the global phenomenon that The Hunger Games did.

(Cross-posted to [ profile] rhoda_rants.)
glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
Let's get this out of the way first: her name is Moon Child. If you're asking "Who?" right now, then quit reading this review immediately and go watch The Neverending Story because this is going to be one of my main talking points. Okay, everybody on the same page? Good. Moving on!

The Neverending Story was a children's epic fantasy written by Michael Ende in 1979, translated from the German in 1983, and adapted to film by Wolfgang Petersen in 1984. The movie, of course, is what most people remember--and for good reason. It's fantastic, and one of my favorite movies of all time. Here, I'll be focusing on the first movie and how it lines up to the book, because like most fans, I prefer to pretend the two sequels don't exist. (Although the Nostalgia Critic does a pretty good throttling of them here and here, if you're curious--links Not Safe For Work, by the way.)

As I mentioned in the Ring review, this was my first exposure to the breaking of the fourth wall. And it BLEW MY MIND. Imagine you're four years old, creative, and more comfortable around books than people. Suddenly a movie arrives that tells you not only that books are real, but that the characters inside them need you to believe in them to keep them alive. I ran with that hard, and wound up with a vast menagerie of imaginary friends. (These days, I call them "characters" and write them into my own books.) There's a lot that I could gush about in this particular review, but I'll try to confine it to a few major points so this doesn't get too unwieldy.

Warning: We'll be talking about depression and suicide extensively in this review, so if anyone has triggers for that sort of thing, be aware.

In the beginning, it is always dark. )
glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
First, a bit of background:

When I was little, I had a healthy-sized collection of My Little Ponies. Still do--let's be honest. One particular collection, the Sparkle Ponies, was very special to me because Mom used them as rewards when I did well in school. One at a time, she put each of the ponies on top of the refrigerator, and if I had good grades and good comments from my teachers at the end of the week, she'd take that week's pony down and give it to me. I loved those Sparkle Ponies not just because I'd earned them, but because they were space ponies, and that was awesome. (In retrospect, I don't know if they were actually from space, but that's what I decided. Because space ponies are awesome.)

I also had the castle with the working drawbridge, and I still remember how the heirarchy was ranked in my collection. When I turned . . . 8, I think? I had a pony-themed birthday party with official My Little Pony paper plates and cake and party favors, and real live ponies for me and the rest of the kids to ride in the park.

I never watched the show that was on at the time. I think I tried to once or twice, but I just got bored. I was always more interested in shows like Thundercats and later Inspector Gadget; when it came to the Ponies, I prefered to make up my own adventures in the privacy of my bedroom.

Fast-forward to mid-April-ish of this year, when I started to watch the rebooted My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. This newer incarnation of the show is the brainchild of Lauren Faust, formerly of The Powerpuff Girls and Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends. I became interested based on the sheer amount of buzz the show was getting on the Internet, and lo and behold, I was hooked in one episode flat. Friendship is Magic, in my opinion (and the opinions of countless others) is a vast improvement over the previous incarnation of the franchise due to its intelligent script writing, memorable cast of characters and streamlined animation, and all those things contributed to its success and popularity.

However, that's not what so remarkable about it. I'm talking, of course, about the Bronies.

Read more here... )

Last book read: Shine, Shine, Shine, by Lydia Netzer
Currently on: American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
glitter_n_gore: (stargate snark)
Here's what I'm working on right now:

"Hoppers," which needed massive revisions, is getting them as we speak, and I'm running it through a local critique workshop to see if the plot makes more sense now. Have you ever tried to write a story with time travel as a central theme? Jiminy Christmas, it is HARD! Having said that, I've also recently rediscovered my love for Doctor Who, and trying to do this at the same time has given me even more respect and admiration for the writers on that show. The episodes aren't always perfect, but still pretty damn good. This stuff is so, so tricky to plot. Gah!

I also have a new-ish WIP (meaning a handful of preexisting plot bunnies have joined forces, either for good or for evil, can't tell yet) that's reached 3k so far. Still early, but I have a new monster to play with (a burrowing parasite that feeds on negative emotions), ghosts, space ships, and a supernova. It's gonna be fun.

"The Fire Worker" is DONE, at least the first draft of it. Yay! I so love typing "The End" at the bottom of a manuscript. I know I still have proofing, editing, revisions, beta reads, and then the query-synopsis-submission process to look forward to. But none of that even takes place if you don't get to "The End" first. It was a hard place for me to reach, and I burned through several half-finished manuscripts before I got there the first time. I'm proud of it. Completion is something to celebrate.

Honestly, there's not much else going on with me right now. Well, it feels like not much, but really I have one novel in revisions, another in the beginning stages, a third resting, and a short story still out waiting its turn in the submission queue. But since I'm usually writing several things at once, it doesn't feel like much. It's weird, but I think it's good. We'll see.

Last book read: Moxyland, by Lauren Beukes

Currently on: The Wayfarer Redemption, by Sara Douglas
glitter_n_gore: (stargate snark)
So, that experiment I was trying with outlining versus not--I've discovered, now with a more definite sense of certainty, that outlining in my case is a very, very bad idea. I could not get through one chapter once I got to the actual writing part on that project. Not one chapter.

However, I'm not sorry I tried it, because that's useful to know about myself I guess. It's really better in my case if I just write. And I'm not giving up on that story entirely--just can't deal with it right now, so it's going into the Trunk until further notice.

Anyways, what with my experiment and a number of other things going awry, this is what I have on the table as of now:

The Candelabrum: Revised, reformatted, and sent away again. Now waiting for a response. Wish me luck!

The Fire Worker: Up to 43k, and working out some revisions in my head for when I go back for a second-draft sweep. I say "in my head" because I've been trying not to monkey around with manuscripts at all until that first draft is completely finished. It's not easy. With the pantsing thing especially, I inevitably wind up with a number of plot holes that need filling in once I go back, and once I work out what they are I want to fix them immediately. Which I will, eventually, but the more important thing is finishing the draft. If it's complete, and has an ending, even if that ending winds up changing, then I have something I can work with.

Now, since those two are the only "current" projects I have, I feel myself flailing. Two projects, one of which is a short story that I'm for all intents and purposes "done" with at least for the moment, feels way too low. As anyone who's followed this blog for a significant length of time probably knows by now, I generally keep at least three or four going at once.

Which means I have a couple of options here--I can feed one of the plot bunnies (I always have a gracious plenty of those); OR I could take out one of my previous manuscripts and give it a good, clean overhaul and put it back in the queue. I'm thinking of one in particular that I think has loads of potential, but got put on hold once I reached the synopsis-writing stage and uncovered a number of plotting oversights that needed fixing. It's been resting for about a year. Maybe it's time to dust it off and polish it up.

I'm hesitant to do both until I get that draft finished. A girl has to have boundaries, after all.

Last book read: Wondrous Strange, by Lesley Livingston

Currently on: The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
glitter_n_gore: (clockwork orange)
This post is somewhat spoilery--consider yourselves warned.

First and for the record: yes, I'm a Battle Royale enthusiast and dedicated Asia Extreme fangirl, but we aren't here to talk about which futuristic dystopia about a totalitarian government annually pitting its children against each other in a last-man-standing duel to the death came first or did it better. I do have a preference, but they are very different stories, and I happen to believe Suzanne Collins' claim that she hadn't read or even heard of Koushoun Takami's novel before writing hers.

So, what are we here to talk about? Well, first let me direct you to this excellent post by [ profile] seanan_mcguire: Some thoughts about gender and literature. The Internet is no stranger to gender wars, especially the really nasty ones, and somehow they seem to be getting worse. In the literary quadrant of said wars we have YA paranormal romance in one corner, with their pretty dresses and broody Type A alpha love interests; in the other, we have so-called "boy books" about action and adventure and coming-of-age. The biggest point of contention being, not the actual content of the sub-genres, but the gender of the main characters and, by extension, their assumed target audiences.

Let me put it another way: certain readers who prefer not to read books with female protagonists say they avoid them on the off-chance that a romance will happen. As someone who isn't fond of romance on the whole, I get this . . . kind of. It has a twisted logic to it. Twisted, because, well, not all books with female protagonists are about romance. Just as not all books with male protagonists are without it. Using gender as an excuse to make assumptions about a book's content is perfectly ridiculous.

Now, about The Hunger Games... )
glitter_n_gore: (gambit)
Biggest news on the actual writing front is this: "The Candelabrum" has earned me my second personalized rejection. Yay! And I do mean that sincerely. Of course, I would prefer an acceptance, but this is the first place I sent this story out to, and it was both complimentary and just detailed enough to let me know where to go next.

So! As usual, I'm being attacked by plot bunnies left and right. Except this time, instead of ignoring them all, I'm trying to keep them neutralized a little differently: outlining.

As some of you probably know, I'm normally a panster when it comes to writing. Meaning, I prefer not to outline my plot, but start from scratch and just keep going until I get to The End. The reason being I tend to lose interest in a story once I know how it's going to end. Even if it's not fully fleshed out, if I have the basic structure "finished," my writer brain decides it's done with it and wants to move on to the next Shiny New Idea. Given the amount of plot bunnies clamoring for attention at all times, you can probably imagine how this goes for me.

However, also given the amount of plot bunnies I wind up with, I can see how outlining might actually be beneficial. I've just outlined a complete novel start to finish (dark, alternate universe YA--working title "The Light Bringers") in about a week, give or take. A fully fleshed out novel takes a lot longer than a week to write. But now, see, that particularly bunny has a home and is no longer nibbling at me. So perhaps this is a good way to keep them satisfied and still have time to work on my major projects in the meantime.

The question is will these unwritten stories still hold my interest enough for me to finish them fairly? Time will tell. This is an experiment. (There's a reason I decided to go with the Gambit icon for this post.) I'll see how it goes on this one for now, and I'll keep you posted as usual.

Last book read: Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House.

Currently on: Gail Carriger's Soulless, Book 1 of the Parasol Protectorate.
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
First, Mira Grant, author of Deadline, Book Two in the Newsflesh trilogy, has been nominated for a Philip K. Dick award--yay to her! I'm excited on her behalf, because her books are among the best I read last year, and easily my favorite books in the zombie genre. Read more here.

Second, I seem to be nominated for something also: The Versatile Bloggers Award, courtesy of Ann Elise Monte. (Thanks again!) I've never been nominated as blogger before, so I'm very excited about this. The rules say I'm supposed to nominate some other folks too, which I'll do in a future blog. Need to think about that for a bit.

Third, Luke Walker, fellow Horror Hound and one of the finest writers I know, has his novel, The Red Girl out as an ebook as of this past weekend. Yay to him as well! He's been working on this for quite some time, so I'm very happy for him for getting it out to the public. More info here.

Which brings me to my broken resolution: I did it. I went and bought some books, including Luke's, before getting through my TBR pile. Almost made it through January. Damn. I will get through the pile before the year's out though. I'm . . . revising the resolution, let's say. But I will do it.
glitter_n_gore: (chiaki)

Firstly, no, I'm not cheating on my resolution (yet). I checked out Alison Goodman's Eon from the library late in December, and got around to finishing it only a week ago. (I am a slow reader.)

Secondly, the January pick for the YA Floating Diversity Book Club is up: I'm doing Libyrinth. And I'll be reviewing that, and the December pick sometime later. (Yes, a very slow reader.)

So, Eon is the story of the Dragoneyes--young men trained from an early age to commune with the spirit dragons of an alternate universe Asia, and thus control things like weather, the health of the emperor, crops prospering, and all kinds of good things. There's one dragon for each of the animals in the Chinese zodiac (although it's not called that in this universe), except one, the Mirror dragon (associated with the dragon zodiac), which has disappeared for centuries. And then Eon, a young apprentice Dragoneye with a lame hip and the unprecedented ability to see all twelve dragons without any prior training, comes to the ceremony that selects the Rat Dragoneye for that season, and the Mirror Dragon resurfaces and chooses Eon as its Dragoneye.

The catch is that Eon is actually Eona, not a young boy but a girl, and women are forbidden from using dragon magic--not only forbidden, but it's assumed that women have no power, so her training as a Dragoneye is not only prohibited but laughable.

This setup is pretty basic, actually, and I was expecting a good swashbuckling adventure with some high-minded preaching maybe about gender roles. However, what's amazing about this book is that it captures perfectly what it feels like to go through life closeted, to stifle your true identity so completely that you forget who you are and how to reconcile your role in life with what might happen to you if your secrets are discovered.

It's remarkably well-written to start with, so I knew by the first page that I was in for something more interesting and original than what I expected. Eon/Eona is an active protagonist, forced to grow up quickly make her own choices early on, and her growth and maturity were both believable and painful to witness.

She also has a close friend and ally in a character named Lady Dela, a transgendered female, who is described as having "the body of a man, but the spirit of a woman"--perhaps the most poetic and elegant description of a transgendered person I've ever seen. Goodman doesn't shy away from the malicious hazing this character has to endure either--Lady Dela has scars from where someone carved the character for "demon" into her skin, and she travels with a bodyguard to keep from being attacked. Also, Lady Dela is consistently referred to as "she," never casting any doubt on her feminine nature.

There is plenty of adventure here--mystery and hidden conspiracies, political intrigue handled in a way that stays interesting and holds the reader captivated, and Eona's budding friendship with the Prince which may turn into something more in the sequel, I'm not sure, but even if that's the case it's, again, handled in such a way that it comes off beautifully. But it's also a coming-of-age story about gender identity and knowing one's true self. Eona goes through an internal struggle on how "female" she really is, whether this masquerade is becoming part of her identity or whether she is just denying the female part of her nature for her own safety. The author brings up with deft subtlety the difference between conforming to prescribed gender roles in whatever society you're in, and claiming whatever gender you are as part of your being.

I don't know that this is really a metaphor for the closeted teenager, but boy does it have a lot of the same feeling behind it. That itch to confide in someone is there, coupled with fear that she might be exiled or even killed just for being what she is, and also the doubt about whether her friends will ever trust her again once they know she's kept such a big secret from them.

My looming TBR pile is the only thing stopping me from reading the sequel right now, but I highly recommend this book regardless.
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
Here is my first entry for the Permanent Floating YA Diversity Book Club proposed by [ profile] rachelmanija: Witch Eyes, by Scott Tracey. This is the October/November pick for the book club, so I'm a bit late in the game, but still playing.

The protagonist, Braden, is gifted with the unusual ability to detect and dismantle any spell simply by looking at it. No stranger to the supernatural, Braden was raised by his Uncle John to be a witch. Unfortunately, he's stubborn, and his power is WAY out of control. Then one day, while Braden is at the grocery, he gets knocked over by a vision so overwhelming he feels he has no choice but to follow it to the town of Belle Dam, where loyalties are split and tensions are high, and both sides want Braden's so-called "witch eyes" for their own purposes. The problem? One of the sides is led by Braden's estranged father. The other one is led by the mother of his new boyfriend.

More thoughts and minor spoilers below... )
glitter_n_gore: (emma)
This was brought to my attention via [ profile] seanan_mcguire.

Rachel Stark has made a disturbing observation about a recent trend with book covers for YA fiction: Cover Trends in YA Fiction: Why the Obsession With Elegant Death?

Go on, read that first.

Now, when I first heard about this, I had a "What's the big deal?" approach. I'm into horror as well as YA, so my interests tend towards the macabre anyway--which probably comes as no surprise, considering the name I chose for this blog. Images of (fake) dead things don't particularly bother me as long as they're artfully done, as most of these seem to be. In my head I likened it to that opening montage from the movie Ginger Snaps, in which the two girls pose themselves in various gruesome photographs for a school project--drawing both applause from their classmates and a loud, disgusted diatribe from their teacher in the process.

Furthermore, since dark YA is mostly what I write, I imagined that maybe the subgenre is opening up a bit, which for me would be a good thing. Because why would the folks who decide things like what to put on book covers be using images of dead girls if not to draw an audience that likes dark stories?

So I took a look at some of the other book covers in my collection. You know what I notice? All my adult horror doesn't seem to favor images of dead girls to draw that audience. It's all shadowy silhouettes, dark forests, and eerie still lifes of things like empty chairs or abandoned buildings.

Then I took a look at some YA horror covers--proper horror, not just paranormal with a hefty dose of romance.

Here's what I found. )

NaNo 2011!

Nov. 8th, 2011 03:26 pm
glitter_n_gore: (hyde)
So I'm not doing NaNo this year, exactly, but I do have a number of projects currently underway so I figured I might as well use this space to track my progress. If nothing else, it'll give me something to blog about, because seriously, I need to update more often.

Here's the score so far:

Short Stories:

Doppelganger--supernatural horror, clocking in at 6500 words. Longish for the markets I'm looking at, but not too long, hopefully. Ready to sub, at least as ready as I can make it with the help of five betas and one personalized rejection.

Early Risers--zombie short, horror-comedy, 1290 words. Submitted to Publisher A, no word back yet. It's been about a month since I sent it, but their kill date is 60 days, so I'm not worried. (Yet.)

The Candelabrum--good ol' fashioned haunted house story, no word count yet as it's all longhand. Inspired by the October Prompt on AW.


Early Risers--same zombie short, expanding into a novel against my better judgment. (The first "chapter" is what I'm pitching as a short story, and I still think it works rather nicely as a standalone piece.) I'm also taking some of the pieces I couldn't make work from "Dusty" and trying them here instead. Progress so far: 4500 words.

Demigeists--YA horror/urban fantasy/magic realism. I put all those in there because it's still cooking and I'm not sure what it'll look like once it's done. I've taken one of my own nightmares, the random infestation of crows that popped up 'round these parts over summer, mixed in some characters from a trunk novel, and enrolled them in a prep school next to a graveyard. Progress so far: 5000 words.

Total rejections so far: 6 (1 personalized)

Full requests: 1
glitter_n_gore: (underworld)
Remember Wicked Pretty Things? Well, buckle your seatbelts, because someone's thrown more fuel on this fire.

The basic story is this: Authors Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith wrote this article for Publishers Weekly, detailing their decision to walk after a certain agency asked them to A) marginalize, B) de-gay, or C) entirely remove a pivotal character from their YA novel.

Agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe (although not the agent in question, at least not as far as sources can tell so far) caught wind of this and put out a response to the internet, saying that the conversation about the character, and what should be done about him, was taken out of context, misconstrued, and these authors are taking things the wrong way and making the agency look bad. Her full rebuttal is here.

It got complicated as more authors, editors, and agency reps hopped onto the comment train, and added their tweets to the conversation.

As usual, the magnificent Cleo has all the details.

The real issue is not truly who said what to whom and for what reasons in this particular incident. Oh, no. The issue is what place queer characters currently occupy in the YA market, and how that needs to change.

Particularly telling is this anonymous comment on Brown and Smith's original article:

"I'm so tired of the reactionary nature of the internet. This is a case in point of that.

As a reader, I don't want to be force-fed something I'm not comfortable with reading or dealing with. This goes for anything, not just homosexual content.

Do homosexuals exist? Do rapists exist? Do drug addicts and drug dealers exist? Do dark and scary things exist?

Yes. But that doesn't mean I want to read about it. I read to escape and if a book leaves me feeling enraged or depressed or anything that isn't a feeling I want to have hanging over my day or week, it's not a book for me.

It has nothing to do with homophobia or bigotry of any kind."

Take a moment and let that sink in. I want you to note how this person equates rape and drug-dealing with homosexuality. This right here is why we call it homophobia--it all comes down to fear. And it's a fear that, unlike that of rapists and drug-dealers, is completely baseless. I really wonder where these people get their information, and how they draw their conclusions about what makes non-straight people so "dark and scary."

So what do we do about it?

If you're a reader, you can follow the suggestion to vote with your dollars--prove to the marketplace that the readership for queer characters and their stories is out there, especially in YA where all the really important changes seem to be happening these days. That is the best and most impactful way to make something happen.

But what about me? What should I, as a writer, do about this?

Read on. )
glitter_n_gore: (samara)
Let's hear it for fellow horror hound, Diane Dooley, who has not just one, but two stories out as of this past month: "A Womb of One's Own", her first print publication which is out in this summer's issue of Golden Visions Magazine--read more about it here; and "Served", a short, nasty piece about waiting tables (kind of) which you can read here. (Scroll down to the end, but be warned--it is NOT for the faint of heart. Mature audiences ONLY.)

Also there's a great conversation/interview up on her blog with Fiona Dodwell, on the perceptions and difficulties of being not just a horror writer, but a female horror writer: "Most people who find I enjoy horror are shocked – they usually respond by saying, “But you’re such a girly, feminine woman!”, as if being into horror means I have to grow horns and wear black all day! Really, I’m a happy, contented woman, but I like to explore darkness from a safe place – and for me that is through the medium of writing." Read the rest of the interview here.

As for myself, progress is slow but steady on my various projects. I am four pages and one last edit away from finished with "Doppelganger," the horror short I've been working on with the writer's group here, and have signed up to do a reading with them in September. It's a first-come, first-served sign up list, so hopefully I'll be able to get in there. Even if it's full, there's usually at least one person who can't show up due to some emergency or other, so I'm hopeful. Stay tuned--I will tell you when and where for anyone who wants to come.

The rest of my projects are, as usual, getting eaten by plot bunnies. I got one more rejection back for "Hoppers," which I hate to admit probably needs another rewrite--or at least a fresh beta reader to tell me what needs fixing. I'm torn between the voice that says "Put it away and deal with it later, when you stop hating it," which is probably the best; and the one that says, "But it's YA dystopia--if we don't find a buyer now, people are going to be sick of them! It'll be vampires all over again!" although I know, I know, that's my impatience talking. The market is unpredictable--dystopias will come back around, or not, and there's nothing I can do about it, so there's no use worrying about that.

"Dusty" has a mind of its own and won't do what I tell it, although I think the first chapter is pretty good. A first chapter does not a good novel make, but it's a start, and it's better than what I had before. I think I might just be taking this project too seriously, because--apart from the vampires--it's about a topic that's very close to home for me, and that's making it exceedingly difficult to write.

I have several more on the backburner, but right now my focus is mostly on "Doppelganger." Having a critique group to report to makes things go so much more smoothly.

As for the plot bunnies, I'm just going to throw a dart and see where it lands.

Last book read: Spindle's End by Robin McKinley.

Yearly total: 38
glitter_n_gore: (underworld)

Another long post about one of the bigger-name paranormal YA titles out right now: Lauren Kate's Fallen. I actually like this series a lot, but I want to talk about some disturbing buzz I saw in the Amazon reviews, particularly for the second book. I don't put but so much stock in those things, because they are incredibly biased to start with, but I do like checking out the two and three star reviews every once in a while because I think they're the most useful. The five and four stars are mostly gushy and brimming with fangirl squee; and the one stars are hateful and non-specific. Mostly. Not all the time, but mostly. Thus, I like to see what the middle-of-the-road folks tend to think.

Before I get into what happened with the comments, let me give you a brief rundown of both books and my take on them, because you'll need the context to understand why I was so disturbed:

Warning: Rambling, Spoilers, and Twilight Comparisons Follow )
glitter_n_gore: (jc vampires)
First, check out this great interview with Steve Barber, author of Blob and the Sous-Chef, over at Diane Dooley's blog: Oh, The Horror!

Next, I've been thinking about the state of vampire fiction and my place in it, and came up with somewhat slightly rambling thoughts.

Read More... )
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
I've recently added a few more things to my links list on the left.

The reason for this is a project started by some of the good people at AW, the purpose of which is to help promote one another in our various stages of publication.

We've also talked about guest blogging on each others' sites, so you might see something from one of them here soon, or I might link to a guest post of mine elsewhere. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are some recent tidbits on the blogging front:

Exploring Horror with Luke Walker--guest post on Fiona Dodwell's blog

Opening Chapter of 'SET--a novel excerpt from Luke Walker

Rock and Roll is Dead Again--announcement from Jenna Pitman ([ profile] rejectedrefuse) about the new anthology from Blood Bound Books, including her story, "The Language of Bones"

And what am I up to? Well, let's see...

"Lucid" is creeping up on the 50k mark, which is exciting, but it's also starting to bog down which is not. I keep telling myself it's okay, it's just the first draft, I can fix it later, but EURGH!

"Sinless" seems to be occupying the most space in my brain lately. I'm focusing more on plot than word count with this one, at least so far, but I like the way the language is unfolding. I think I have a good monster here.

"The Time Ghost" is at a dead stop. Again. I'm about ready to trunk it and move on. But not quite.

"The Carrion Girl" has been put away "temporarily" owing to my need to remove a character and still somehow work it up to a decent word count.

Last book read: Roses and Bones, a collection of three previously published works by Francesca Lia Block. This puts my Books Read This Year count up to 25.


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September 2017

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