2016 & …?

I have not blogged in ages.
I haven’t written in ages.

Poor Lenna!

As I mentioned in my last post, I did scribe the ending to Freewoman, the final book in Lenna Faircloth’s trilogy. Of course, all that did was garner a surfeit of queries as to when the book was coming out…

Well. My urge to kill Lenna is only mild at the moment, so 2016 is still looking ever so rosy. Mainly, though, I’ve been preoccupied with numerous Big To-Dos, like moving, the holidays, and getting the kittens to stop trying to maim each other. (See above: a rare moment of peace.)

I have set aside some “staycation” time so that (1) we can unpack the kitchen and pretend to bake like Mary Berry, and (2) I can stop fretting myself prematurely grey.

TL;DR version:

Freewoman is on its way; I am turning silver; I go to the gym a lot; I do not dance nearly as much as I should; three cats is a bit much for two people.


Tears…!? On Writing an Ending

I’m really rather pleased to be back on my game and exercising my writing muscles. ROAR!! Freewoman — I’ve probably mentioned this in past posts — is completely outlined and several chapters are done (my dad has the only copy of chapter one at the moment, shh!), but I still have a lot of work to do in cranking the rest out.

The ending is something that I’ve had in mind since book one, so what happens isn’t really anything new to me. I just felt like today was the day to write it. What I didn’t expect was for it to feel so personal or so final… after all, I still have a solid chunk of the book to write, so it’s not like I won’t be working on it. Still. Today, I wrote the ending.

To say Lenna doesn’t represent various aspects of my nature would be a lie. Writing anything without connecting on a personal level would, in my opinion, produce nothing but sterile content. But despite having known what was to come, what I was to write, I didn’t expect for me to feel so sad about penning the final paragraph of the arc that Lenna, that crochety librarian-cum-hero, took me journeying along as her companion.

I thought I was in charge the whole time, but looking back and forward, I guess Lenna was in command all along. My writing has developed for ill or naught, my imagination expanded twentyfold and, while there’s still much work to get done before Freewoman is even ready to be edited, it’s somehow rather tough to write goodbye. (Unless we see her again…)

Writing Getaway; Or: Writing, GET AWAY!

The boy had the sudden (whether it was opportune or not is debatable, since we had to wake up at 4:30 this morning) task of traveling for work up to Connecticut, and as I’ve been going a bit stir-crazy of late and may have been on vacation this week anyway, I said, “BAO GOES TOO.” This was very exciting, especially since it came off the back-end of pumpkin picking. Pumpkins are a particular… fascination of mine.

Punkin Time

Fortunately, despite the chilly weather, heated car seats and a Xanax meant I snored through most of the journey, and now I’m wandering about like a lost puppy in this giant resort. (I have had to ask for directions twice and already have been asked if Sunset Shimmer was my good luck charm.)

Good news is! While under normal vacation circumstances I would most likely be drunk or eating the entire time, I’ll be spending most of the week cranking out the first proof of Freewoman and working on two separate serials for my favorite magician, Jacob Orange. Productivity, here we come! (Mostly. Right now I’m having a Cosmopolitan and considering spa treatments.)

…oh, me.

A Rant; Or Rather, an Angry Diatribe about GoT

Okay, as a writer, I understand that there are scenes that move along plot and are sometimes hard to write and can be quite visceral to readers. Sometimes, that is the point of writing those scenes. Hell, I was asked if I’m just killing off gay characters because they’re gay (don’t worry; I’ve knocked off 3 straights in book three already!).

But the Game of Thrones HBO adaption is gratuitous in its violence against women, both adult and young. I’m not even on the finale yet and I’m appalled by this season (compounded with others). Yes, men meet horrible fates too, so you don’t need to berate me about Theon Theon Theon and his lack of a tallywhacker. There is just such an overt sexualization and abuse of women in this series that it leaves me gobsmacked that people aren’t made uncomfortable watching this.

We have a responsibility to recognize, learn, and stop the atrocities that have been afflicted on women historically, but this drama is *NOT* history (though Martin and others claim it’s all inspired by historic events such as the War of the Roses — and subsequently explain away how this level of violence is fine and dandy).

This is a fantasy show with horrific pacing and horrific acts of violence against women just for shock value, and it just gives me pause when I think, “…why are people entertained by this? Is this what we want to see?” Because I can guarantee one thing… it certainly isn’t teaching anyone about equality, history, or the horrors real women all over the world suffer daily. It’s glorifying these awful events as entertainment.

I haven’t watched the finale yet, but I’m already so uncomfortable I had to leave the room. And there is no come back that says, “The finale will make everything better.” Because no. The rape, the abuse, the misogynistic sex — hell’s bells, what on earth are people enjoying about this and what the hell kind of people write this?

Feel free to disagree — I don’t mind and don’t mind anyone who likes GoT. I just can only watch so much rape or murdering of young girls before I get angry. And for the die-hard fans, Arya Stark doing something AMAZING eventually is not going to make up for all of the treacherous treatment of women by this series. Yes, bad stuff happens to all sorts of people in Game of Thrones, but you’d have to be blind not to see that this mostly happens to women. This show sells abuse.

Okay, rant over. Sorry… but not so sorry for saying what every man and woman should be saying. *clicks post because, unlike Theon, I’ve still got and deserve my junk*

Such May-ness

Yikes! It’s been forever. I did not exactly fall off the planet, but I got quite close to the Moon. More on that — and the poems that resulted from it — to be covered another time.

Apprentice (hardcover) went live back in December, though due to a panoply of ponderous circumstances, I didn’t get to promote it much (or at all). Don’t worry: that’ll change very soon, starting with some giveaways that I’ll announce in a few days. 🙂

On a fanciful note, MasterChef Australia is currently my snuggly lifeline to sanity; even the cat — more on him another time, too — knows not to eat the houseplants during my nightly voyage into the world of Ozzie home cookery.

And while we’re on the topic of food, I just got back from my St Cross reunion in Boston. (It was a complete blast to reunite with Oxford peeps and then faff about Harvard Square in an awesome hat.)

Anyway, because I’m compelled to go to dive bars with scrumptastic reputations, yours truly found himself at a biker bar in Derby, Connecticut eating food (in a completely INAPPROPRIATE HAT) that could drop an elephant at 20 paces.

Behold the gloriousness of the Parmesan Butter Bacon Garlic Burger, courtesy of the Dew Drop Inn:

My Death on a Plate

…this probably explains my lack of appetite for the last few days. Burp. Keep it classy, kids, keep it classy.


West Coast Inspiration

China BeachSo yes, I’m on one of my retreats to the West Coast! Humidity and nasty heat claimed my East Coast Pine Forest like a Texan noms on barbecue, so the immediate desire to flee to a place with better weather and a different sort of energy consumed me. I also had to see a man about a cat.

I’ve been slightly detached from the blog and even Apprentice itself as I experienced one of the rare joys a published author is afforded — nothingness. Sure, the thoughts were still bursting around in the head (I’m not sure that ever stops for a writer), but with the manuscript off to the copyeditor, I could very happily divorce myself from worrying about book two for a few weeks. It’s NICE.

But then you get the itch. I had planned to get some writing done while away, but it wasn’t the hugest of my priorities. Then, as I took a two hour stroll (me, strolling, two hours, I know) along China Beach and Land’s End, BAM! It happened. Book three (I already have a lot of it outlined, so it’s not like I’m starting from scratch) has its first proper words. Rather, its first proper scene! Chapter one, scene one, written. And I am pleased. 🙂 Lenna’s ending draws nigh, but at least we see the return of some fan favorites…

Book Three SpoilerDon’t worry… not all is what it seems! In any case, while I nurse my sunburn and cook my rabbit (really — I have a rabbit to cook), know that I’m writing/living/working/loving just so I become a better Brian for all of you supporting me back home, here, and abroad! I miss you all so much!

Book three, here we go.

Book Three - Beginning

Hiring: Temporary Editorial Assistants!

That’s right, Moon Rabbit Publishing, LLC is in the market for some temporary editorial assistants, which is a glorified way of saying “paid beta-reader” as we find our workload increasing. This is not a job for copyediting, proofreading, or substantive editing and as such the pay will reflect a fair, flat rate based on the current market of beta-readers.

Job Description: You will receive a digital proof (format of your choosing) of Apprentice, a novel to be released late summer 2014. Within two weeks of receipt, you will have read the manuscript and written an approximate 500 word (two standard pages) brief containing feedback on the plot, how characters are received, overall flow/pacing, and anything else you’d like to mention. I will also include a document with some guidelines to assist with the write-up of the report. You are not required to correct or proofread, though if you do notice any glaring errors, plot holes, etc., you are more than welcome to point them out.

Job Requirements: A reader with an excellent command of the English language, preferably one with proven experience in either beta-reading or reviewing (I may ask for samples). While not required, as Apprentice is part two of a trilogy, having read its predecessor, Librarian, is a major plus.

Compensation: Based on the market and availability of beta-readers who provide similar services for free, assistants will be paid $50 USD, payable via check or PayPal (PayPal exclusively if assistant is not based in the United States). Additionally, they will receive credit in the acknowledgements section of the completed novel and a free digital copy of the novel upon publication. In short, you’ll be paid to write a small book report and be part of the publishing industry. More than most interns get!

Interested parties, please contact Brian with your name, email address, and qualifications.