That's Courage

Well, I was going to write a snippets post, but while I was in the shower I got the idea for this post instead.  This is for those of you who read my posts Why I Threw Your Writing in the Trash and "Discipline is the Cornerstone to Writing," and said they hit close to home.  This is the encouraging post.  

Last night I was watching (part three of) a fashion Youtuber's story; she was recapping the rise and fall of her dreams of being in the fashion industry and/or of becoming a successful lawyer, recapping her rejections, her heartbreaks, her depression, her alcoholism - and finally, the light.  (I have to say, my favourite line is probably, "When I'm sad, I no longer go to alcohol - I go to Jesus.")  She is now sane, stable, successful, happy, confident, but she highlighted the fact that it is so easy, when your dreams fail, to just quit.  To say, this is it.  I'm not going to succeed.  I'll never succeed.  Everything everyone said about me is true: I'm a failure.  It's so easy to throw in the towel and call it done, and live the rest of your life as a meaningless shell.  That's a lot of life to live in a hollow, blacked-out state, people.  

But let's bring this back to writing.  That Youtuber is an example of the saying, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  I spooned out a pretty bitter medicine in my other two posts, and some of you were man enough to take it.  Now comes the good stuff.  You'll be stronger for it.  Maybe not now - probably not now - but down the road, if you keep on going, you'll find you've overcome obstacles you once thought insurmountable.  And that gives you the courage to face the obstacles that are still ahead.  If you take the bad news with the good, and decide to get up, get going, soldier on, you will be so glad you did.  

Let's go back to the Youtuber for a second.  "If someone had told my childhood self that Google would be flying me around the country to do fashion shoots, I would have been like...'What's Google?' "  Moral: you don't know your own future.  There may be opportunities in your future that don't even exist yet, you don't know!  Do not despair.  Do not give up.  To get up, to keep working from day to day, to trust to God that he will prosper the work of your hands, that's courage.  That's strength.  That's something worth taking one's hat off to.

// End Quote

A Promise of Foxes

It's no secret, I love foxes.  I could never own one; they're stinky, temperamental, tear things to pieces, and they pee on everything.  And yet the romantic fascination is still there.  (I have history behind me, too; mankind has always been fascinated by foxes. boo yah.)  Anyway, in light of my love of foxes, a friend sent me a (lengthy) poem by Wendell Berry (fans of Andrew Peterson have probably also heard of Berry), and she promised that it contained foxes.  It was a long poem, and not in the style I'm used to, but she promised foxes so I stuck around.  And I'm glad I did.  Now I'm going to promises foxes to you and hope you stick around, because I liked the poem and sometimes I share what I like.

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

"Discipline Is the Cornerstone to Writing"

I've been trying to figure out how to introduce this post, and an introduction is just not forthcoming, so since I'm short on time, let's just jump right in, shall we?  Okey dokey.

A couple of people were less than enthused about my post "Why I Threw Your Writing in the Trash" because my tone was so blunt.  In fact, it was apparently so up-front honest and blunt that my final wrap-up and ostensibly encouraging statements - 
Buckle up and buckle down.  Love [writing].  Let it empower you.  Be passionate about it.  But respect it.  Respect those of us who know better than to dabble.  Writing is a demanding art - just like all the others - so come to it with the respect it deserves!  YOU'VE GOT THIS.
- were overlooked.  Maybe that's because we're used to being very gentle with ourselves - and with others.  Which is not a bad thing.  It's good to be gentle.  But sometimes you have to be hard.  

My post was actually nothing compared to how I treat myself.  Which is maybe not the point, but LET ME JUST SAY, if you think I'm giving myself special treatment, OH HO NO GEE GOLLY NUH UH.  I will tear myself to shreds and push myself far, far outside my comfort zone (what even is comfort zone anymore?) to better myself at my craft.  Got that?  Okay.
 Yes, I, too, was a teenager - not that long ago, really - but I never read or wrote in just the same genre so I can't speak to that clique. However, I won't condone foolishness just because it is done in ignorance; I'd rather shake it up and shake it off.
One of the best things that can happen to you as a writer is to be told, Okay.  You want this?  WORK FOR IT.  Trust me!  Was I foolish as a young writer? Absolutely!  Was I dillydallying and playing around?  No, I was not.  I worked.  I had a blind devotion to writing, and I just. kept. going.  Whatever it was, I just kept writing, putting down stories, working with new plots, crafting new ways of dealing with characters, story-telling, everything.  I loved writing and I wanted to do it always.  I wanted it to be amazing.  I wanted to do my best.  Maybe you weren't like that - that's okay.  But there comes a point when you need to be shook up and made to see - do you want this or not, and are you willing to work for it as it deserves?  

 Well, doesn't that make you so special, Jenny.
No, it doesn't.  All it means is that I had a slight head-start on knowing what I wanted to do, and I was too young at the time to be bombarded by the internet distracting me from my course.  I had a blind commitment to what I was doing, and it's stood me in good stead.  
"What are you doing?  Get up!  Do you think anyone cares about your pain?  Get up!"
From the scraps of my Gingerune manuscript, this particular quote stands out to me.  Ginger's bull-dancing instructor, although he cares about Ginger, knows the hard truth: you have to get back up and keep going, harder than ever - and no one actually cares about your pain.  Oh, your friends care.  Your family cares.  But no one else cares.  If you want to make anything of yourself, of your writing, you are going to have to push yourself until your brain is raw sometimes, and just face up to the fact that no one cares how hard you are working, all they see are the results, good or bad.  

I am no one special, you guys.  I have zero formal training, I am abominable at grammar, I rarely even read inside my main genre.  I am no one special.  But you know what I do have?  I have a blind, serious, determined passion to write and to write well.  That's all I ask - of you, of myself.  Rude? No. Harsh? Maybe.  But oh! my darlings, to be told to get up and get going, to be told you can do this! you've got this! is one of the best things that can happen to you as a writer.  And I'm telling this to you.  
Don't lie to yourself.  Don't second-guess yourself.  Don't fool around.  You can be amazing.
title quote courtesy of schuyler

How I Cope With Multiple Story Ideas

I brought down the hammer in Why I Threw Your Writing in the Trash.  Now I'm going to show you how I, at least, deal with being a prolific, creative individual.  Because many of us are! and it isn't always easy to balance our story ideas and keep forging ahead.

I don't get that distracted by my blog.  I'm getting back into the swing of blogging now that fifteen months have gone by after Filigree Marguerite's birth, but it doesn't eclipse my actual writing.  After all, I have to have writing to showcase on my writing blog.  Le duh. 

I can tell when a story needs to be my one true love.  You know I have upwards of a dozen story ideas in the wings.  That's a lot of content jammed into my brain, and my brain is rarely quiet.  The trick?  Knowing which story needs to be written now.  Right now, that's Drakeshelm.  Yes, it's not next up in the chronology, but it's telling me that it's time.  It's ready.  The others will have to wait.  You have to know when your story is telling you, "Time for me.  I'm ready to be written."  And go with it.

I don't let hard spots turn me off and make me think the story isn't ready to be written.  Because that's baloney.  EVERY story will have hard spots.  Really, really, really hard spots when you're stuck in the same place for days - even weeks - with no progress.  You're going to feel guilty and want to do something because you've been told that a writer has to write every day.  Also baloney.  I let the story simmer.  I let it rest.  The breakthrough will come to me - always does!  You can't get so discouraged that you flee into the arms of another story.  You've got to mend the relationship with the story you're currently working on.

I do take the time to write down scenes from other stories.  Wait.  What?  I just said I don't let myself get distracted.  No, I don't.  But I also know that my brain is quietly working on other stories as well, and if a scene surfaces, I grab it and nail it down so that, when I do get to that other story, I'll have bookmarked that scene for myself.  I won't remember it if I don't.  It doesn't take me long to jot it down, and once it's out of my brain, it's like having scratched an itch.  I have the relief and I can go back to my current work in progress.

Fundamentally, I believe.  I believe in myself as a writer.  I believe I can do it.  I believe in my story.  I believe that it deserves to be written - through the bad times as well as the good, fundamentally, I believe.  That's what keeps me going on one story while the others, equally exciting, wait their turn.  I know I can do it.  I've done it before, I'll do it again, and it will be grand.  I believe.

Why I Threw Your Writing in the Trash

Listen up, writers.  Here's a side of Jenny that Penslayer girl you may or may not know. 

I have an extremely short temper.

That's right.  I have a short temper and no patience.  My friends Mirriam and Katie, they are much more long-suffering, but they are not fools.  They know.  I know.  We mean business.

That business is writing, and we take it seriously, folks.  If there is one thing I cannot stand, and I'm not going to apologize for it, it's a phony.  It's easy to spot, too. 

  • It's when people talk about writing but never do it. 
  • It's when people read far below their intelligence.
  • It's when people never read outside a single genre.
  • It's when people have a million stories going at one time.
  • It's when people keep getting distracted by new ideas.
  • It's when people participate in too many tags, blog parties, etc.
  • It's when progress is consistently NONEXISTENT.

Yeah.  We see it.  Here in the one-block neighbourhood of blogging writers, we see the tags, the blog parties, the year-after-year languish of your stories, we see your Goodreads lists, we see the innumerable times you use the term "plot bunnies" to excuse your lack of commitment and perseverance, we see when you use the embarrassing terms "writerly" and "bookish."  We see it and it pains us.

I do not care where you are on your climb to hone your writing skills.  I'm on that mountain too, still climbing.  What I demand of you is what I demand of myself.

Take writing seriously.

You can love it. You can be ecstatic about it.  You can be giddy and gleeful and full of passion.  I WANT YOU TO BE THOSE THINGS.  But I absolutely, fundamentally demand, if you are going to be a writer, to TAKE. WRITING. SERIOUSLY.  Throw all that romantic trash of sitting on rainy days in a coffee shop, people-watching, the erroneous belief that the world will never understand you - throw it all out the window.  Those are the hallmarks of a poseur.  You know what a writer does?  

He writes.  

In a way, it's both a good thing and a bad thing that it is so easy for anyone to sit down at a computer and vomit ideas into a document.  It's a good thing because people (like myself) start there and hone and build and improve.  It's a bad thing because anyone can do it and think that somehow that makes them a writer, and that makes them mysterious and romantic and entitled.  No, it does not.  All it means is that you are a human with an imagination.  The rest is work.  I can tell when people are posing, and I assure you, I have no time for it.  If you're going to do this, if you're going to be a writer, don't waste our time.  Write.  

Well, gee, Jenny.  This is not a very happy post, is it.

No, not really.  But that's because, while I fully appreciate authors opening up and being kind and encouraging (because, wow, that means so much to us as we aspire to greatness!), I also believe that you need to see the iron beneath the velvet gloves sometimes, just to be reminded that the iron is there.  Stop posing.  Stop dillydallying.  Take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask, "Do I really care that much about writing?  Is it the thing that drives me?"

If the answer is yes, then DO IT.  Buckle up and buckle down.  Love it.  Let it empower you.  Be passionate about it.  But respect it.  Respect those of us who know better than to dabble.  Writing is a demanding art - just like all the others - so come to it with the respect it deserves!

You've got this.

I Don't Know Where I Am But I Know I'm At a Loss

abigail's pinterest board // shh...!
I am in a funk.

Drakeshelm has come to a screeching halt because I. am. dry.  I know Things I Want to Do With the Plot, but I don't yet know How to Get There, and at the moment I'm just sapped.  Usually, during this time, I'll go read a book.  I don't typically focus on reading and writing in equal measure, one usually ebbs while the other waxes.  But right now, nothing.  NOTHING. I scan my shelves and nothing jumps out at me.  I don't want to reread anything; I've spent the first two months of 2016 rereading books and, by jove, I'm ready for something new, you know?  Uuuugh.  I need fresh meat.  Fresh, tender, rare meat.

Okay, all is not completely lost - we just pushed the date of capitulation back a little.  I grabbed "The Talisman Ring" (Georgette Heyer) off my shelf.  It is one of the few Heyers which survived The Great Purge.  Not a reeeeally promising start; Heyer novels don't tend to grab me at the outset, I have to push through for a few pages.  So I pushed through a few pages, and so far it's been interesting.  I'm thinking I'm catching distinct whiffs of inspiration for Sutcliff's little novel Flame Coloured Taffeta, but let's pretend we didn't notice that.  I'm four chapters in and we've left my favourite character, and a potentially favourite character has only just shown up.  Neither of them appear to be The Main Characters (male and female, the author created them), but we'll see.  We'll see...
 this is where you come in
Yes, but wait.  The point of all this is, I've only got MAYBE one book that is interesting me right now, and after that I'm off into empty space again.   So...HELP ME OUT, HERE.  What should I read?  What do you recommend?  Give me some ideas, folks.  But don't just lob your favourite books at me, because I don't want to hurt your feelings by not liking your favourite books.  Have you read anything you think I might like?  I am super picky and judgmental and it's annoying but I need help right now, okay?  You guys read books.  I read books.  We have so much in common!  (Whimper.)
...i need help

Sorry to Anyone Named Sophy: a Post on Naming

There was a segment on the radio featuring a writer who was agonizing over naming the main character of her book.  When she got to the character's name, she just left an X.  (I know, I was like, "Whaaaaaat. You are so not ready to write that book if you don't even know the character's name.")  She was struggling to find the balance between a name that was not too obvious, not bizarre, and at the same time not so contemporary and down-to-earth that people essentially forgot it. 

I know some people (like this writer) struggle to name their characters, but personally, I've never had that problem.  I wait until the character comes to me with his name; sometimes, I don't even like their names (Margaret, Simon, Philip), but I like them in the end because they have become fused with their name.  Naming, for me, is a very intuitive, relaxed business.  It has less to do with hunting down The Perfect Name and just letting character and name emerge organically in my mind.  I am a very intuitive writer.  Sorry I can't be more concrete here.

My husband is reading The Grand Sophy (again! because, it's amazing! duh.), and we were cheerfully discussing the fact that the author, in a fit of genius, managed to cast Sophy perfectly.  She is deliberately stated as not being beautiful.  Striking, but not beautiful, certainly not in the social beauty of the time.  There are things too large about her, or not the right colour, not delicate enough, etc.  And yet, as you read the book, you get the impression that Sophy is gorgeous.  Why?  Because she has charisma.  She's got a dull little name (sorry to anyone named "Sophy," it's not bad, just not outrageously memorable), she's not physically beautiful, but you remember her because she's a force of nature.  The name isn't what carries her off, it's Sophy herself - in all her grandeur and glory.

Stop freaking out about the name, okay?  Yeah, sometimes it takes a little bit for the name to surface, but the whole world doesn't hinge upon it.  It's an amateur move to have your character's interest hang solely on his name.  The name can mean something, that's absolutely fine, but the character himself has to matter for the name to matter. 

Okay, generalizations over.  I love coming up with names, personally.  I don't write contemporary fiction so I'm not stuck with otherwise dull, everyday names.  I get to play with names like Dammerung and Aven-maz and Pan Aeneas and Mordecai Halfharemoon.  They just taste so good when you say them, don't they?  They sizzle and pop like soda.  This is where I enjoy the naming process.  I haven't tied my own shoelaces together with mental anguish, so I'm not tripping over myself when these characters emerge from my imagination.  Typically, they come with names; if not, I let my mind hover over the surface of the deep until it draws out the name I need.  (Again, NOT a lot of help in a writing workshop, I know, I know.) 

This is one part THIS IS WHAT YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T DO and another part THIS IS WHAT I DO and some other part THIS IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT, and now the hinder part of this is going to be WHAT DO YOU DO?  What is it like for you to come up with character names?  What are some of your favourites?  Spill the beans!

Beautiful People: Where It All Began

In turmoil rife the world locked out—
Thrice beams of light thrown ‘cross the door—
Within, all pillared in cedars stout,
Carpeted in colours of mingled fleurs:
Walk with me, my genius fairy!
Arm in arm, we’ll linger there.
There the war-notes of the hum-birds tarry,
The phoenix nests within thy hair.

Somewhere around here...where it it is.  I wrote a Chatterbox starring some of the cast of Ampersand, just for the fun of it and perhaps to get a handle on who is who and how they are.  Golly gee, that seems like ages ago.  I can't actually promise that what I wrote then will translate into the actual novel come time, but it was a fun exercise.

Okay, but this post isn't about Chatterboxes.  (Chatterboxen?)  This is about Beautiful People, and I'm going to deviate from Drakeshelm to take up the main character of Ampersand in the hopes that I will 1) not give too much away about Drakeshelm, and b) I'm banking on some of you forgetting what I say about Ampersand by the time I write it so it comes as a surprise when you read it.  It's not a very sturdy bank...
philip cheval
1.  What first inspired this character?  Is there a character/actor you based him off?
To the second half of this question...I don't think so.  I don't tend to do that - base my characters off others, I mean.  Not intentionally.  What first inspired him...  I can't put my finger on the moment.  He just...came.  I know that's rather a lame answer, you know?  It isn't as if I watched him fall like lightning from heaven.  But he is so important - so, so vitally important; without him, there would be no Plenilune.  Maybe it's just the innate desire to discover the origin story that bore Philip Cheval in my mind.

2.  What does he merely tolerate?
Sweetmeats, lettering, stupidity, and Uncle Augustus.

3.  How does he react in awkward silence?
Since he is rarely the cause of it, it does not tend to faze him.  He is by nature phlegmatic, sturdy, peaceable, and adapts quickly to almost any situation.  (Pretty much the exact opposite of my main character in Drakeshelm.)  If he likes the other person or people who compose the awkward silence, he will try to dispel the atmosphere by drawing out a better subject; if he dislikes them, he will retire into his own mind and let the awkwardness linger.

4. What is one major event that helped shape who he is?
Without a doubt I would name his tutelage under Trevellyan Oprismameluna, renowned natural philosopher. 
I pursed my lips and looked away, to his left—I had long conquered the child’s proclivity for staring at the floor when talking to his elders—and considered for a second. “I understand,” I said slowly, “that it is ignoble to be a bastard.” I met his gaze again. “But I also believe that we make our own nobility.”
A grim smile cracked his features. “An idealist,” he said, as if to himself. And I think he spoke it with compassion.
5.What does he value most in life?
Nothing so easy!  Family.  Having providentially gained one when he had no right to one, it is something he takes more seriously than many, for good or ill.  And that, I suppose, it what shapes much of Ampersand, in the end...
There was a tread of steps on the stair and the three of us turned round—Jubal gave a muffled grunt of greeting—and I found myself looking up at a younger version of my Lord Marius: high and broad in the shoulder, slimmed at the waist, and a chest in between which looked fit to halt a pair of bullocks in mid career. The face was pleasant but puzzled, and the young man looked from his relatives to myself, sweepingly, high-browed as if holding this scene at a distance before he was sure he would enjoy it.
“Father!” Raymond reprimanded lightly. He came down the stair and his fingers brushed off the banister to fall gently upon the gilding of his sword-hilt. “I did not know we were to have—” then he stopped, his eyes flashing with surprise like terror, and fixed upon me.
Odd, how single moments can seem like eternity…
“Philip!” he cried. “Light of the sun—Philip!”
And he was sprinting across the architrave, saying I think neither of us knew quite what, and the next moment I was slammed into his embrace, rocked and hammered, rocking and hammering in return with a feeling like a sob in my chest. I did not realize until that moment how afraid I had been that he should not know me. I wanted to cry like a girl-child and I was having difficulty feeling ashamed of myself. But he did know me, and though shaken, I laughed to throw off the fear.
6. Does he believe in giving people second chances? Does he have trust issues?
You'd think he would...  I suppose we'll have to find out.

7.  What does he look like?
As Ampersand is written in the first person, perhaps I should give you a picture of Philip myself.  He is easy to sketch: tall, slight, long-boned like a racehorse, with an aquiline nose, a sharp jawline, and a thin cut of mouth just softened by naturally sleepy, pleasant blue eyes.  As a boy in summer he is bay-coloured, with nutbrown skin and almost black hair, but his skin prefers to be a paler shade and his hair is actually a deep, dark brown.  He has a taste for excellent cloth but tends to wear retiring colours; his typical dress is a hybridization of a huntsman's gear worn round the kennels and a gentleman coming to call.  
A high summer wind was up, blowing the mackerel clouds southwest across the flamed sky, and far out across the headland the wine-coloured sea hummed its breathing rhythm through the air, roaring against the rocks and pulsing on the wide slip-way, and foam-feathering with its spray the thick, mazed tangle of tamarisk which had been left to grow wild at the foot of the estate land. I leaned upon the stone rail of the upper terrace and watched the stepped landscape below me darken under the tiger sky, my skin flushed with the honey of the evening air, and inside my chest, my heart was warm like a vessel full of wine. A thin sea-scent lay beneath a heavy veneer of trodden thyme, and my head felt drunk with it, pleasantly drunk with it, and for a moment—rare in a man’s life—I had no more to do than stand leaning against the lichen’d stone with my thumb and forefinger idly rubbing at one another’s prints, my idle gaze drifting over the descending parterres, full of a solemn pleasance in life which hurt a little if I dared to stir.

Look For Me in the Nurseries of Heaven

image via pinterest // poem by francis thompson you search with unaccustomed glance 
The ranks of Paradise for my countenance, 
Turn not your tread along the Uranian sod 
Among the bearded counsellors of God;...

Once upon a time last night I was again locked in combat with insomnia. Now that my child is sleeping through the night, it seems cruel to have insomnia rear its head. I habitually take something to help calm my brain down enough for me to sleep, but that doesn't last long, and in the middle of the night, my mind will frequently race as much as ever.

For if in Eden as on earth are we, 
I sure shall keep a younger company: 
Pass where beneath their ranged gonfalons 
The starry cohorts shake their shielded suns,

Last night, around that magical hour of 1:30, my brain was awake again and mulling over the difficulty of reading one's Bible. Don't feel guilty - I know you're feeling guilty now, because we all fail to read as much as we think we ought, and when it's mentioned, our instinctive reaction is to get cross. Don't. It won't serve anyone any good.

The dreadful mass of their enridged spears; 
Pass where majestical the eternal peers, 
The stately choice of the great Saintdom, meet - 
A silvern segregation, globed complete 
In sandalled shadow of the Triune feet;

A means of getting more good into one's soul is to be continually in the way of it. If you are naturally lazy, like I am, perhaps keep your Bible by your bed at all times, so you have it there when you are going to bed and ready to be quiet. If you do even the least, like set a trap, you are likely to catch more than if you did nothing. If you go even casually to church, at least you are under the preaching of a living and active word of God. And I am quite sure, if you manage to push yourself to hunt down your quarry, you will most certainly be rewarded with bounty. That's the beauty of God's word, you know. It will come to you as much as you go to it, and you will find it more alive if you give it the mere catalyst of putting it in your mind.
"Why did you not steer by the great leading lights? And what ought we to say to a man who gives up reading the Bible because it contains hard things, when his own state, and the path to heaven, and the way to serve God, are all written down clearly and unmistakably, as with a sunbeam?"
If you feel daunted by the Scriptures, I wouldn't blame you, of course. It is dealing with an infinite and holy God. Why shouldn't it daunt us? It was given to winnow and to thresh. But it was also given to chart the means of mending the breach between God and his best creation. We should certainly come with awe - but we should also come with delight. These storehouses of wisdom, the maps of the highway to Zion, these treasures, are not dead when we come to fetch them; they come bounding, full of the fullness of life-giving life. It takes concerted effort on our part to go after them, but while this world remembers Nimrod, the world to come will remember the children of God who went hunting for the Lord and found him.

Pass by where wait, young poet-wayfarer, 
Your cousined clusters, emulous to share 
With you the roseal lightnings burning 'mid their hair; 
Pass the crystalline sea, the Lampads seven: - 
Look for me in the nurseries of Heaven.

The Genres I Write

One of the blog prompts I got back from my general query was about genres.  Okay, specifically it was asking if there was a genre I haven't worked with yet but would like to, and after I read the question my mind flat-lined and I can't think of genres at all.  

The problem is.  THE PROBLEM IS.  I feel like many of my stories are a mixture of several genres, stashed under the overarching theme of fantasy.  (We're on the moon here, people.  It doesn't get much more fantastic than that.)  So how about I word-vomit a selection of my stories and tell you a little bit about the genres that are incorporated into their plots?  Does that sound like fun?  Maybe.  Will that help clarify things?  Probably not.  Let's go.

adamantine rewrite

At the moment, I feel like this story is shaping up to look as if Hayao Miyazaki had collaborated with me.  I haven't really read any Neil Gaiman, but I feel like his horror-thriller sense of fantasy might be a close comparison.  When I think of Adamantine, I get a sense of the hair-raisingly bizarre, an almost out of control fantasy.  So if you are expecting very logical, precise, almost scientific fantasy, please leave that notion at the door.  Buckle up and hug your teddy.


Is it dull to say Ampersand could be classed as a novelized history of Plenilune?  You know me.  For all my faults, I'm never dull, and Ampersand will not deviate from that standard.  Here you will get a historical fictional fantasy drama.  Yiss.  I don't think I could pack much more into that genre description.


This novel I am definitely looking forward to, but I don't know how well it will be received.  You can probably class this as a psychological thriller/mystery.  I imagine if someone poured a can of gasoline down the rabbit hole and dropped a match in after it, it would look like this.  Won't this be fun!


...has almost nothing to do with dogs.  I've already finished the first draft of this novel, and my husband best described it as a kind of English country drama, but in Plenilune.  If you like things that are bittersweet and you like your typical handsome Plenilunar cast, please hold while I tidy up this manuscript and glean enough money to self-publish it.


Another thriller, another social tangle, another novel whose reception is debatable.  At present I'm calling this less fantasy, although it is Plenilunar; Talldogs is also not really a fantasy.  I don't know the full scope of this story yet - probably I won't know until I'm done writing it - but here's a heads up to let you know that, like Lamblight, it is not going to be a comfy-cosy novel.  I've always dealt with grit in my novels, even before they were worth consideration for publishing, but as the years have gone by I've honed my handle on them.  For those of you who don't like a shock to be shocking, don't say I didn't warn you this time!

pip! pip!