M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Revisiting Old Friends: Silver on the Tree

The Read...
Picked up Susan Cooper's Silver on the Tree of the Dark is Rising series.  All part of my return to writing middle grade, I guess, but her books are intricate enough that adults can enjoy them for their own sakes ... or maybe my brain just works on a more infantile level than most.  

Will, the Drew kids, and Bran go up against the greatest evil threatening to enslave the world ... and win with surprisingly little violence and little help from the "Merlin" incarnations.  Spent about a half hour of looking for examples of where Cooper created tension ... but the passages were too long for me to feel comfortable quoting.  So, I'll cop out and say ... if you want to see how a master puts her characters in harms way without resorting to blood flying all over the place.  Buy the book, a yellow highlighter, and set too.

Hate to say this people, but I think my unconscious mind is telling me to go back and write middle grade.  Which makes me wonder how you or any writer decided what reading level to write at.

Web and Other Good Stuff...
 If I'm ever a success as an author (someone's whose fiction is published by somebody else), you can blame 1st Turning Point.  The good information just keeps pouring from the site.  This time of special note is Jolene James blog:  Free and Low Cost Promotion Websites.  Of course, I bookmarked it. 

And, Stacia Kane writes about Copyrights and stuff at "How Publishing Works".   I read her opinions and general good sense a lot at Absolute Write Water Cooler.  [Thanks to Kevin Hearne for this info.] 

Then, there's the problem that concerns me at the moment.  Is it MG or YA?  Mary Kole of the Andrea Brown Agency give us a good litmus test on her recent kidlit.com blog. 

I don't know how Patti Struble manages to blog so much about while she's NaNo-ing, but she has a great blog about wrapping up your story --  The End of the Line.  Maybe she's ready to chuck it all in and slow the pace?

So, what could be better, once you get an end on your manuscript, than selling it ... hopefully for money.  Okay, I've contracts on the mind since I spent over an hour at Office Depot trying to get a fax through to Britain with my Spectra contract.  I'm in good company.  The Writer Beware Blog has a good post on understanding what your contract means, written by Victoria Strauss.  While it focuses on packaging, it still has lots of good advice.  I liked the title:  Notes from the Underbelly of Publishing.  If that isn't a warning, I don't know what is.

Progress...
Maybe selling "Taking Vengeance" wasn't such a fluke, after all.  Just made another sale to Spectra Magazine, a British science fiction e-magazine.  I even have a printout of the contract at my right elbow, sitting on top of the dictionary.  The piece may be called "Night for the Gargoyles" and was the short story beginnings of my novel length manuscript started in 2008, "There Be Demons".  

Does that mean a change in my decision to give up on short stories?  I doubt it ... because I just much more comfortable in writing longer lengths.  

Don't know if it counts as progress, but this blog has had over 2000 readers/reads since It started in August 2009.  Has it really been that long?  I never thought I could keep this up for more than a couple months.  Guess I really do have a big mouth.

Trivia ...
Got a floor show while eating dinner the other day.  A fox trotted down the street, took a piss in a neighbor's yard, and trotted away, his white-tipped tail swishing.  Glad he refrained from our yard.  We get enough lingering dogs as it is.
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