I just got the Blackbringer paperback cover in the mail -- so exciting! It looks gorgeous, the same illustration as the hardcover but with different colors and an awesome new type design and "special effects" (making the type and figures shiny). So beautiful! (Ooh, and there's a quote from Holly Black on the front, which is vurry nice :-) I'm really excited about next year! First the paperback (in May), then Silksinger and Lips Touch in the fall. Yippeeee! What a year!
Oh, this is wayyyyy preliminary, but potentially much fun: I might be teaching a workshop on writing fairy tale retellings at a gorgeous lakeside retreat in New Hampshire in June (as part of an arts retreat with lots of other cool workshops). I'll have more info by and by. Here's the lake from up above:
Let's see. . . the writing goes well. I tried Jolie and Holly's 5,000 word challenge on Friday, and I wrote. . . 7,086 words!! WOWZA! Which brought me past the 50,000 word mark, but I have not "won" NaNo yet because the story is not complete yet. Much still to happen. This will be a busy week in "Bad-Ass Sci-Fi" land as I try to bring the events to their conclusion. Wish me luck!
Given the word glut of Friday, I figured I could mostly take Saturday off to loll and read (I did write for a few hours in the morning first!) I really need to crank some Cybils nominees through my brain, as you will see by this photo of unread books:
Caramba! How am I supposed to read all those??? Well, I wish I could, but that is obviously not possible, which is why there are seven panelists to divide up the work. Even so, I must read as many of them as I possibly can, so it was the couch for me most of yesterday, wrapped in the one blanket I have ever knitted (alpaca). There was an interruption in the afternoon to make vegetable soup with Jim -- something we do about once a week, and could probably compete in a husband-and-wife-mind-reading-soup-making competition, we're so good at it (new reality show!), and then there was a 10 pm trip to the very empty-on-a-Saturday-night gym. But otherwise, I read.
It reminded me of days back in college where, as an English major taking 3 or 4 lit classes simultaneously, I just had to read read read all the time. There was one memorable weekend when I was quite ill and alternately slept and read Gargantua and Pantagruel. All I remember of it is that I had a fever and the book gave me very strange dreams. There was apparently a healthy respect for fart humor in the 16th Century! Who knew? Well, anyway, reading all day yesterday was like college. . . but the books were more fun! Not that Wittgenstein's Nephew and The Sonnets of Petrarch aren't a hoot, y'all, but I'll take fairy tale retellings and zombies and kissing and fighting, please.
I read the very lovely and magical The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier, as well as a Rumpelstiltskin retelling called The Crimson Thread by Suzanne Weyn, and there was another book that I'm not going to mention by name because I didn't care for it and gave up half way through. And then I started Ever by Gail Carson Levine, which I have not yet finished (but really like). I feel like I should have read more than three books (well, two and a half), but I'm not a speed reader. I want to slip into a little crack in between minutes and live there all cozy until I've read all these books, shifted them one by one to the "read" stack (which is in another room and is less impressive than the above photo!)
This Cybils process has been SO MUCH FUN! First, there's the joy of getting books in the mail, lovely lovely lovely books, all the time. And stacking them. And sorting them. And trying to choose what to read next. It's seriously like a box of chocolates (I wish you could say that without hearing the voice of Forrest Gump!), and I never know what I'll be in the mood for. Sometimes I pick five and then decide based on the first paragraph. Lately I've been trying to read all the fairy tale retellings together (blog post upcoming). The Fantasy/Sci-Fi category is great because we have fairy tales, vampires, post-apocalyptics, ghost stories, swords and sorcery, space ships, dragons, alternate history, distant planets, hidden kingdoms, time travel, gypsies, monks, evil corporations, zombie cheerleaders, kisses, murders, betrayals, curses, cloning, talking polar bears, lonely werewolves, evil tattoos, totalitarian regimes, slaves, samurais, beheadings, and more. Can you imagine? It makes me shake my head with sadness for people who have closed their minds to all the wonders of fantasy and science fiction.
I want to sit on the floor and pet all the pretty books like they're a basket of puppies. I am such a nerd for books.
Before the end I will have more to say about what I am learning, reading this slew of books, about how some books emerge from the pack, and how a book makes you love it, as opposed to merely liking it. It's a great learning experience, for sure.