hrj: (Alpennia w text)
 If you'd like to read the full entries from my blog's rss feed, rather than clicking though the links I post in my own account, here's what you need to do:

1. Go to the Dreamwidth feeds page:
2. Where it says "Add Feed" and has a box for "feed url" paste in the following:
3. Click the "add feed" button.

Remember that I may not see comments posted on the rss feed entries, because there's no way for me to get notified of them. If you want to comment, please click through to the blog itself.

At some point in the future, I may find a way to export blogs automatically to Dreamwidth like I used to be able to do to Live Journal. But for now, this is the easiest way to read them.

ETA: Hmm, it looks like there should be an easier way to subscribe. If you go to the DW Alpennia feed page ( There should be a place up in the top header display that says "subscribe to this feed". If this works for someone, could you post a note here to confirm?
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 It occurs to me that I would work my way through my current blogging dry spell by reprising a bunch of old LJ posts (now here on DW) that I want to have live on my Alpennia blog. Up until now, the stuff I've been moving over has been assigned its historic date. And I could see doing that with things that have a clear temporality (like in-process writing blogs). But some of the essays and think pieces could just be tagged "originally posted on [date]". I dunno. I don't want to duplicate my entire LJ at Alpennia--a lot of it was ephemera--but especially the writing-related stuff would be nice to have all in one place.

What do you think?
hrj: (Alpennia w text)
I don't yet have an efficient way to export my blog posts from to my Dreamwidth account. (Unlike the one-click Live Journal cross-poster module that Drupal offers.) So I've been just giving a quick reference with a link here, but I'm quite aware that lots of people are unlikely to click through on that sort of thing.

One option is for you to add the Alpennia Blog RSS feed to your reading page. I currently have the RSS feed set up to send the entire post, which can be a bit long on occasion. The proponents of "feed the whole thing" versus "feed only a teaser paragraph" are equally vociferous.

Be aware that I don't get notified of comments on the RSS feed posts here, so if you want me to read any comments you have, you need to click over to the Alpennia website.

Next Steps

Jan. 6th, 2017 08:14 am
hrj: (Default)
 I suppose the next step in being serious about following people on Dreamwidth is identifying who's doing the DW > LJ thing and pruning my LJ reading list to avoid duplication. I've been meaning to prune the LJ list for some time anyway.  It doesn't really affect reading--I almost never post anything locked--though it does mean I have to manually approve LJ comments from people I'm not following. I rather like the way DW has separated the functions of "allow this person rights regarding my account" and "I want to read everything this person writes."
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I have an account at DW with the same user name as here. I've been duplicating connections over there as I'm made aware of them. I'm not currently echoing my blog content there due to technical issues, but you can probably add the Alpennia Blog RSS feed to your DW reading list.
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Today's web development work-party has added several features, but the one I've been asked about most is an RSS feed. You now have two options. You can plug "" into your favorite RSS reader and it should give you the feed. But you can also just add "" to your LJ friends list.

For the moment, I'm still manually mirroring my blog posts here, but I'm trying to work on eliminating that step. This may mean that, when that happens, the LHMP content will only be available on LJ via the RSS feed (for complicated logistical reasons). I'll keep folks updated on developments on the front.
hrj: (Alpennia w text)
Just having fun setting up some more topic-specific user-pics so I can graphically encode my subjects.
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While nattering around online this morning, it occurred to me that I'd missed a great opportunity to write my own spoof LHMP publication and blog it today. Believe me, I can spoof academic writing with the best of them and it would have been a lot of fun. Too bad I didn't think of it earlier. Maybe next year? But now you'll be warned.
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Since I have some time to kill before heading off to a NYE party (and it would be dangerous to think I could catch a quick nap), herewith is the "first sentence of each month's postings" meme. I reserve the right to strip off the introductory link-statement for any of them that are LHMP posts.

January: Just for grins and giggles -- and for various other sociological reasons -- I've taken up the challenge to enter the West Kingdom's A&S championship this year.

And, in fact, I carried through. I didn't enter as many of the individual competitions as I originally planned to, but I entered enough to technically qualify for the overall championship. No chance at all of winning -- that wasn't what I was in it for -- but a goal achieved.

February: As you may remember from the last post, we get a view into what else was going on at these banquets (besides eating) from the 1548 menu which describes a “flower game” that comes after the confectionary course and before the collation.

This was one of a series of posts doing a structural analysis of a set of feast menus from the 16th c. Italian chef Messisbugo. It was a really fun project and I hope other people got some useful information out of it.

March: So I still haven't finished blogging the books I bought at Kalamazoo last May (and true to my vow, they're still sitting stacked on the coffee table in the living room waiting for me to do so).

I did, in fact, catch up with my book-intake blogging before going to Kalamazoo again, and have kept up-to-date on it ever since then.

April: In honor of @LeVotreGC's twitter movement #whanthataprilleday (posts in ancient or medieval languages), I offer a translation** into Medieval Welsh of the opening paragraph of my Mabinogi-pastiche lesbian romance story Hoywferch:

And, in fact, this exercise may have been the kick-in-the-pants I needed to return to the story and clean it up a bit. It is currently out on submission and I should hear back on whether they want it by the end of next week. If this market doesn't want it, I'll figure out where to send it next.

May: I'm working on a number of writing-related projects at the moment, but there's nothing to actually show for it yet. But just to feel like I've been doing something, here's the list:

Out of 10 projects I listed in that post, 7 of them were completed/accomplished as planned or in an equivalent manner. Three weren't: 2 blog posts that would have required significant research (and my research energy has gone elsewhere), and I wasn't able to convince Bella to take up the Skin-Singer collection (on the other hand, the final story for that is completed, so maybe that should count to tick off the box).

June: I hope to finish up the intake-reviews in two more sessions.

Yes, once more I'm powering through the book-intake posts from shopping at Kalamazoo.

July: Even though I'm relaxing my one-a-day rule now that June is past, I didn't want to start off on the wrong foot by skipping a day.

I started the Lesbian Historic Motif Project in June with a post every day, then slacked off to only three per week. I've kept that schedule up successfully since then and have enough material to continue at that rate for perhaps a couple of years at this point.

August: The 1996 collection Handbook of Medieval Sexuality should be viewed in light of its chronology in the emerging field of the history of historic gender and sexuality studies.

Statistically speaking, a first-of-the-month post has only a slightly less than even chance of being from the LHMP.

September: Emma Donoghue writes incredibly fact-dense books drawn from impressively deep research into English historic lesbian culture.

But, in fact, due to the vagaries of the calendar, the universe aligns such that 5 of 6 first-of-the-month posts in the second half of the year are LHMP posts. This is, to some extent, representative of what I've been doing with my time.

October: The heart of Brooten's research are a handful of references to erotic relationships between women in literature that is not necessarily focusing on the social politics of sex (and therefore where the discussion is not as self-consciously polemical).

As I said …

November: I was busy transcribing text for what was supposed to be chapter 1 of Mother of Souls and I realized that the impending pregnancy discussed in that chapter just didn't work at all in terms of timing and needed to be put off for a year.

Courtesy of a wall full of colorful post-it notes, I organized all my plot ideas for Mother of Souls and Floodtide and started the serious phase of my next two books. I'm really rather excited about the complexity involved.

December: This is a sizable work, tackling the broad topic of female homoeroticism in 16-17th century England.

And with that, my year comes to a close.
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I’ve been tagged for the Character Blog Roll by Melissa Grace, whose posting can be found here. The blog series is for your most recent work in progress, and I’ve been tagged at a very opportune time: the very first online listings for The Mystic Marriage just started showing up today. The story is a continuation of the setting and characters of my first novel, Daughter of Mystery, a historic fantasy set in the fictitious country of Alpennia. The world of Alpennia is threaded through with magic in subtle forms and the books drawn the reader in through the lives of women who intersect that magic (and each other) in various ways.

1. What is the name of your character, and is he/she fictional or a historical person?

All of my characters are fictional (except for a few background references). The two primary characters are Antuniet Chazillen and Jeanne, Vicomtesse de Cherdillac, who were both minor characters in Daughter of Mystery. But Margerit and Barbara, the protagonists of the first book are still prominant characters as well.

2. When and where is the story set?

Alpennia is an invented country -- a Ruritania, if you will -- that lies somewhere vaguely around the instersection of France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. The story begins in 1821 and covers about two years.

3. What should we know about him/her?

Jeanne is a socialite and notorious flirt who is rumored (very discreetly) to have enjoyed numerous affairs with actresses, singers, and other bohemian types. Everyone forgives the rumors because she has the perfect knack for planning a ball or an opera party or whatever other amusement an aspiring hostess might have in mind.

Antuniet fled Alpennia two years ago after her brother was executed for treason and her mother committed suicide. She has just returned from studying alchemy in Prague and Heidelberg, with agents of the Austrian Emperor hot on her heels.

4. What is the main conflict, and what messes up his/her life?

Each character has her own conflict. Jeanne’s is falling in love with a completely unsuitable woman -- a respectable one! Antuniet’s conflict is to perfect the alchemical synthesis of magical gemstones before her pursuers find a way to seize or sabotage her work. Barbara’s conflict is to figure out why a series of perilous “accidents” is haunting one of the heirs to the throne. And Margerit’s is to overcome the entrenched misogyny of Alpennian academia to establish a place where women can study and teach.

5). What is the personal goal of the main character?

Antuniet’s goal is to redeem her family’s honor. Jeanne’s goal is to win Antuniet’s love.

6). Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The title is The Mystic Marriage, named after one of the alchemical processes, and symbolic of the merging of contrasting substances to form a new, pure synthesis. You can follow along with my writing process on my blog using the tag Alpennia.

7). When can we expect the book to be published?

The Mystic Marriage will be published in April 2015 by Bella Books.

Thanks again to Melissa Grace for tagging me. I’ll post a link here when I find someone new to tag.
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Having played around with various other parts of the LJ statistics pages, I'm a little more heartened at how many viewers I seem to have. A typical recent posting seems to get 150-160 unique viewers. I still don't entirely understand all the statistics breakdowns, but there's some interesting data in there.
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There's a "four questions for writers" meme going around currently. I was tagged by Suzanne M. Harding, whose answers can be found on her facebook author page. [ETA: sorry about this being a fb page and not available to anyone without an account. Unfortunately, that's what I had to work with.]

In turn, I received permission to tag Liz Hamill who will be posting at and Allison Thurman who plans to post at

Here are my answers:

What are you currently working on?

While my second Alpennian novel The Mystic Marriage is off with the beta readers, I'm working on a final short story (or maybe novelette) in my "Skin-Singers" series (previously appearing in the Sword & Sorceress anthologies). At the moment it's a vast mass of text-dump dictated during my commute, which needs to be organized, pruned down, and then thoroughly re-written.

How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Depending on how narrowly you define "my genre", there may not be a lot to compare! I write at the intersection of several genres: fantasy, historical, romance, and lesbian fiction. I depart from the current defaults in all of those: my fantasy is neither dark and gritty nor urban; my history is not medieval; my romance is not erotic; and my lesbian is not contemporary (or erotic). I write exciting adventures with complex, likable but flawed characters, whose sexuality is neither an angsty focus of the plot nor a background detail with no more significance than hair color. My current short story, which concerns shape-shifters, differs from the currently popular uses of that motif in not having a contemporary setting and not having erotic overtones. (There's a theme here.)

Why do you write what you do?

I'm writing the stories that I want to read but that nobody else seems to be writing. The stories that I desperately wanted -- needed -- to have when I was growing up and coming out, but that our society wasn't ready for yet. In my own favorite corner of literature (fantasy, historic fantasy, pre-modern historic) I want to create stories like the ones I loved but that always excluded or erased women like me from existence.

How does your writing process work?

That's a complex question because I'm always tweaking my "process" and trying to expand it. When I wrote my first published novel, Daughter of Mystery, it began as an exercise in completely overturning my writing process. Before that, I'd tended to plot out an entire story in my head, then start by writing out the most vivid scenes, after which I'd "fill in" the connecting bits. This resulted in a handful of vivid scenes connected by some pretty dry, boring filler, as you might expect.

Writing Daughter of Mystery, I promised myself to start at the beginning and work my way through in sequence to the end, and to avoid working out the plot and details more than one chapter or so in advance. Eventually I did find myself needing to sketch out vague outlines of where things were going and what needed to happen (and later I needed to go back and do some massive revisions of what I'd already written), but this worked much better in terms of keeping the story fresh and maintaining the right level of detail and vividness in the scenes. Now that I have half a dozen books in the series sketched out in my mind, I do need a bit more advance outlining, but I mostly kept to the "write from beginning to end" part of the process when working on The Mystic Marriage.

In terms of the actual process of writing, I have a day job and a commute, which shapes a lot of what I can do. On days when I take BART to work, I either write long-hand or type in my iPad. On days when I drive to work, I use a voice-activated dictaphone and transcribe the results when I get home in the evening. I always try to have some sort of notebook on me (the iPad is my default) where I can scribble scenes in odd moments. On weekends, if I don't have anything scheduled to interfere, I usually treat myself to a morning at a coffeeshop where I work on my laptop. Revisions get done by pulling up the text as a pdf on the iPad where I can mark it up in an app designed for that purpose. (I prefer to separate the process of "identifying problems" and "fixing problems".) I don't have a fixed goal of "X words per day" but I do have a goal of "write SOMETHING every day". There have been days when it was a single sentence, but it keeps the momentum up. When I really get going, I feel like I don't want to do anything else except write. But realistically I'm not going to quit my day job, so the full-time writing will have to wait until I'm retired. In the mean time, I'm working on getting up to one novel a year.
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To commemorate my 1000th tweet on Twitter, I held a promo where fans of Daughter of Mystery could send in interview questions for the characters and be entered for a free copy of the book to gift to another prospective fan. (Some day I’ll have enough publications that I can give away things the fans haven’t read yet!) The characters will, of course, be answering “in character” so beware of unreliable narrators! I’ve re-worded and expanded the questions but have kept the essential content. There are no spoilers in the interview beyond what’s in the book blurb.

* * *

Me: Welcome, I’m so glad you could all come. Now that the tea’s all poured and we’ve had a chance to refresh ourselves, my friends have a few questions they’d like to ask and I’m hoping that you won’t mind answering them. @irinarempt, why don’t you begin?

@irinarempt: Baron Saveze, as I understand it, your last will was drawn up very shortly before you died and I was wondering what you had in mind when you re-wrote it to ensure that Margerit and Barbara would be thrown together. Did you expect them to fall in love?

Marziel Lumbeirt, Baron Saveze: In love? Is that what happened? It’s hard to keep track of these things from beyond the grave. No, that’s something of a surprise although...hmm, no, perhaps not such a surprise after all. Barbara never said much about what she was thinking, but I wouldn’t have picked my goddaughter Margerit for the plan if Barbara hadn’t liked her. She’s quite a shrewd judge of character you know. And there was that summer when she and de, no, not a surprise. Though I wouldn’t have guessed Margerit leaned in that direction. In love, you say? Well, let them have their little amusements.

Me: @Lferion, I think you had a question about first impressions. That might follow nicely.

@Lferion: I actually wanted to ask this of Antuniet. What was your first impression of Margerit? We’ve heard about your first few meetings through her eyes, but what did you think of her?

Antuniet Chazillen: I was quite prepared to think as little about her as possible. There was nothing to be done about the inheritance, after all. Why should I take the trouble to dislike her over that? And here she was, the little country bumpkin, come to town to do all the fashionable things and play at being a scholar. She barely had anything to say for herself. And cozying up to Amiz Waldimen? Amiz never opened a book in all the time she went to lectures. That didn’t give me a very good first impression. But later...well, you didn’t ask about later.

@Lferion: What about Barbara? What was your first impression of her?

Antuniet: You are aware that I’ve known Barbara nearly all my life? When was it we first met...I think it must have been that summer we all went down to Saveze when I was seven. Uncle Marziel never invited us very often but he couldn’t escape it entirely given that Estefen was his heir-default. I remember it well because it was the year the French were finally pushed back and there were troops of Austrian soldiers coming through the pass all summer. Estefen loved the uniforms but I hated that we weren’t allowed to go out walking in the hills because of them. And Barbara was there; she must have been about five years old. She was a strange, intense little child. Always keeping quiet in the shadows. I think I tried to play with her--what else was there to do?--but my mother said it was unsuitable and punished me by locking me in a wardrobe for half the day. I didn’t know until years later why she disapproved, and then I thought it was only because of what Barbara was. But I think my mother must have suspected...well, that’s all past now.

@irinarempt: Speaking of meeting people, LeFevre, I was wondering how it was you came to meet Iannipirt. I was trying to calculate out when you began working for the baron but I don’t know how old you are.

René LeFevre: Me? Good heavens, why would you be curious about that? Let me see, Marziel and I were about the same age--and may I say how delightful it is to hear your voice again, old friend? I could almost wish that I were allowed to ask you some questions of my own. So we both would have been around thirty the year of the Battle of Tarnzais when he inherited the title. That would make me fifty-five when he died, God rest his soul. Tarnzais changed so much! I’d been doing the baron’s business accounts on my own for some years then, but when the estate was added in I found myself needing a secretary. Ianni was wounded at Tarnzais--he was with a troop of Hussars. Very dashing! But he had some hard times after: the army was disbanded under the French occupation, no work, no pension. I met him...[LeFevre gets an odd look on his face and shakes his head slightly.] No, you wouldn’t be interested in that. I hired him to do the accounts, write letters, that sort of thing. I don’t know what I’d do without him. He’s been with me for twenty-five years now.

Me: @superyarn you haven’t asked anything yet. What would you like to know?

@superyarn: I’ve been trying to think of a question but my mind’s all tied up with a problem a friend has.

Margerit: Well, perhaps we could offer her some advice? Tell us about it.

@superyarn: You see, she’s very much in love with a young man, and she thinks he’s in love with her, too. But his family is forcing him to marry an heiress to advance his career. What should she do?

LeFevre: I’ll bow out of this one; I have no advice to offer. But if he wants someone to draw up the settlement documents I could likely find time.

Margerit: If he truly loves her, then they should find a way to marry. If you want something strongly enough, there’s always a way.

Barbara: [She makes a rude noise.] If you want something strongly enough and you’re willing to give up everything else to get it. [She reaches over and touches Margerit’s hand briefly.] But best if they don’t go running off willy-nilly. Does she have any family connections that could be brought to bear on his career prospects? Fortune isn’t everything, though it certainly helps.

Jeanne, Vicomtesse de Cherdillac: Oh pooh! she’s going about this all wrong. What is marriage, after all? Tell her to marry a complacent old man--preferably one with a weak heart--and bide her time. She’ll get far more out of the young man as his mistress than she ever would as his wife. And then it’s to her advantage to have him well established in life.

Me: Well, before this devolves into even more outrageous suggestions, I think I will thank all our guests and ring for another plate of almond cakes. Would anyone like more tea?

* * *

And now for the winner! Having assigned each of my entrants two faces of a six sided die (@irinarempt gets 1, 6; @superyarn gets 2, 5; @Lferion gets 3, 4) I roll and ... it’s a 3! Congratulations @Lferion I’ll be contacting you for format and recipient.
hrj: (doll)
So I got this cool idea for celebrating my 1000th tweet on Twitter. (Yeah, I’m easily amused.) And since my Twitter activity is all about my writing career, of course the idea has something to do with Daughter of Mystery. I don’t want my friends in other media to feel left out, but it does require a Twitter account to participate.

So here’s the deal. My 1000th tweet is going to solicit interview questions addressed to characters in Daughter of Mystery. Any character you like; it doesn’t have to be a protagonist. You have to submit the question as a reply to that 1000th tweet. (It’ll be clearly labeled on my feed.) I’ll collect up the questions for 48 hours and then (after a few days to work through them) I’ll post the questions an in-character answers on my blog. (Of course, “in character” can include, “A lady doesn’t discuss such things.” so choose your questions wisely!)

One randomly-selected questioner will get a free copy of Daughter of Mystery to give to someone they think will enjoy it. (Because, of course, you already have your own copy, right?) Format of choice (paper or e-book) but I confess it’s simplest for me if you pick paper. So if you want to participate and you have a Twitter account (or were waiting for an excuse to set one up), my handle is @heatherosejones. (That’s not a typo -- only one “r” because I hit the character limit.) I’ll be posting the tweet and starting the clock tomorrow morning.
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Being a compilation of the first sentences posted in each calendar month of 2013, unless the first sentence or first post of the month is utterly boring, in which case I will exercise discretion.

January: Since my survey of the past year suggested that my writing projects are my most common LJ topic, I might as well capitulate and try to renew my commitment to regular posting with more writing topics. [Note: I have 12 postings in 2013 with the tag “writing” so I guess I followed through somewhat.]

February: After breakfast and the obligatory writing session at the coffee shop, I swung by Home Depot to acquire my very own electric pole chainsaw and then accomplished the following: [Technically, the bullet-pointed list that followed is part of the first sentence, but I’ll omit it.]

March: [Um ... March was busy. Very busy. Yeah, that’s it. I didn’t post anything in March. I was a bad girl.]

April: As part of reading the source materials for the recent Perfectly Period Feast, I was perusing the various menus cited in Messisbugo (mid-16th c. Italian cookery manual). [And I really do need to get back to my series of thoroughly geeky posts analyzing the structure of a typical Messisbugo menu.]

May: It's time once again for the Kalamazoo Sessions Live-Blog!

June: [Book blog entry -- I’ll include the first sentence after the blbiographic citation.] Hanawalt, Barbara A. 2007. The Wealth of Wives: Women, Law, and Economy in Late Medieval London. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN 978-0-19-531176-1 -- As my regular readers are aware, I have this series (hey, two is a series, right?) of survey essays on topics relevant to writing historic fiction about lesbians.

July: My tomatoes outgrew the little wire cage I set up when I planted them. [Yeah, no kidding. One of the tomato plants alone ended up being about the size of a refrigerator.]

August: [Dream Journal] The dream starts out in what must be a sort of family Christmas gathering context (except it otherwise feels like summer time).

September: [Dream Journal] I think it must be all my friends who are in the middle of buying houses, but I had a homeowner anxiety dream this morning.

October: This evening, I e-mailed the final final final version of Daughter of Mystery off to the production people at Bella Books.

November: Just stashing some 17th c. Welsh insults here, nothing to see, move along.

December: [Cheese review] This is a French cow's milk cheese in the general "brie-like" family with a white mold rind and a ripened, creamy, almost runny paste.
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For some reason, there's a ... well, I guess I'd have to call it a meme going around to post your "where was I when..." memories of the Loma Prieta quake. Not sure why it's a thing on this year's anniversary when next year will be the 25th anniversary. (Ack! 25 years since Loma Prieta? Where does the time go?) Rather than a reminiscence, I thought I'd contribute with the song I wrote afterward. Sorry for not pointing to a recording, but it never seems to have ended up in any filk collections. (Many of my best songs never did. Probably never will at this point.) Never ended up in any songbooks either for that matter -- no, wait, Google claims it was in the Concerto convention songbook in 1990. Good luck finding a copy. Which is a pity, because the lyrics are fairly free-form rhythmically, so it doesn't work nearly as well as a poem than as a song.

The Dragon and the Phoenix
(copyright 1989 Heather Rose Jones, all rights reserved)

The lower deck of eight-eighty -- it wasn’t the traffic so loud,
Series fans at Candlestick -- it wasn’t the roar of the crowd,
Five-oh-four on a Tuesday -- commuters out over the bay,
It wasn’t the wind that caught the bridge and made it buck and sway,

For the dragon woke and twisted with a sudden earthy sound,
And like in some child’s skipping rhyme, the bridge has fallen down,
A freeway cracks and crumbles with an awful roaring noise,
Concrete, cars, and rebar, like a heap of broken toys.

In the silence that follows -- the sirens and the screams,
Stark against the skyline -- the bent and the broken beams,
A smell of gas in the wreckage, a spark from a broken wire,
The silence again is broken by a rush of hungry fire.

And the phoenix screams in anger, as it beats its flaming wings,
Above the dragon’s roaring we hear it as it sings,
It’s singing out over the city, and it’s singing in our hearts,
We shiver, blink, and waken -- and once again time starts.

Someone goes back in a building -- helps an old man down the stair,
Someone’s directing the traffic -- waving them on with a flare,
Someone climbs up on a roadway, and starts to pry open a door,
Some people grab a fire hose, and run it down to the shore.

And the dragon stirs and grumbles, but we barely pay it mind,
As we search among the ruins for whatever we can find,
And where the salt bay water has quenched the fire’s glow,
A phoenix egg lies hatching, to wake, and fly, and grow.

Now we will heal the people -- the cuts and the broken bones,
We will repair the buildings -- the glass and the shattered stones,
We will respan the bridges, and we will bury the dead,
And we will banish the demons, that haunt us each night in bed.

And we will rebuild the houses -- on the mud flats and the sand,
And we will rebuild the freeways -- stacked high above the land,
And we will ignore the dragon, for as long as we can pretend,
But, like the phoenix, will we now rebuild -- just to burn again?
hrj: (doll)
Let's try the "first line of the first post of each month" thing with a little summary overview thrown in.

Read more... )

In summary, the biggest thing going on in my life this year was taking Daughter of Mystery from completed first draft to acceptance by a publisher.
hrj: (doll)
So evidently now LJ thinks it's important to notify me when someone (oh, say, me for instance) logs into my LJ account from some location other than my home (oh, say, from my workplace, for instance). And based on the last two days' evidence, they think it's important to notify me every single time it happens. The lovely little notification e-mail fails to indicate any way in which I can say, "Yes, I know, this is me and it's ok."

Has anyone figured out what to do about this other than filtering the messages to trash?
hrj: (Default)
Various of my writer friends ([ profile] ritaxis, [ profile] julesjones, etc.) have been doing a “current writing project” meme and since I’ve just sent the story out to the second round of test-readers (and since I’m trying to become more comfortable with self-promotion) it seems a good time to be a meme-sheep. I almost thought about doing it about Book 2 instead, but the questions fit better with a more or less completed project.

1. What is the working title of your book? Daughter of Mystery Considering that it’s now part of a thematic set with the titles of its two sequels, I think it’s gone beyond “working title”.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? Since I was keeping a meta-diary about how the idea developed when I first started writing, I know fairly precisely, but I’ll give you the slightly fuzzier version. One of my guilty pleasures in the Regency genre collided with a fantasy novel I read that was so close to being the story I hoped it would be that I was ten times more disappointed than if I’d read a book with no promise at all. And I decided that I needed to buckle down to writing the stories I desperately wanted to read: fun, semi-fluffy, fantasy/historical adventures with characters a modern lesbian could identify with, without having them be modern characters stuffed into a non-modern setting. And then I got a scene in my head and started trying to set up the context for that scene.

3. What genre does your book fall under? This is actually a tough one. It’s a romance. No, it’s an alternate history fantasy. No, it’s an adventure full of intrigue and mystery. It’s solidly a “genre novel” in the sense of not being "literature", but it doesn’t see any reason to be restricted to just one genre.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Heavens, what a thought. I have no idea. But wouldn’t it be fun?

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? The one-sentence cocktail party pitch that I’ve been using is: a Ruritanian Regency lesbian romance with magic, a mystery, and a bit of swashbuckling. That’s not the synopsis because it doesn’t say anything about the story, but I’ll let it stand at that because otherwise it would be a very long sentence.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Er … what a startlingly false dichotomy! I don’t have representation and since I’ve pretty much decided to start with the specialty small presses, there’s no need for it. But I definitely plan to go for professional publication, not self-publishing.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I can answer this with precision, thanks to that aforementioned meta-diary. I started writing it in November 2007 and finished the first draft on the last day of 2011. So that makes it 4 years and a couple of months.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? If there were other comparable books, I wouldn’t have felt quite so driven to write it.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? Me. My desire for fun stories with characters I can identify with.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Probably different things than would pique my own! I suspect that few readers would be interested in knowing the precise set of phonological-change rules by which I developed the Alpennian language out of Latin and Langobardic. But perhaps I could start a competition for who can identify the second same-sex romance in the story (other than the main characters) and provide the one key piece of evidence that makes it obvious in retrospect.
hrj: (Default)
The meme goes like this: Comment to this post and I will pick seven things I would like you to talk about. They might make sense or be totally random. Then (if you choose) post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

[ profile] vittoriosa gave me: garden, novelist, kalamazoo, inspiration, music, picnic, welsh. And it got long. )


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