New Novel Posted!

Really, what is there to say?

Yin-Yang started as an odd idea that got shelved for a long time but kept creeping back, despite my certainty that it was just too strange to bother finishing because no one else would ever want to read it. The characters kept nagging at me, and I finally decided to try turning the rough material into an actual novel. I hung up on the climactic scene for over two years, coming back to it periodically and then giving up again, but this past spring at long last it came together. Several volunteer readers took the time to give me their thoughts, for which I’m deeply grateful because it’s a far stronger novel for it. Life happened, distractions happened, but… after all that… it’s done!

I hope my test readers are pleased with what I did with their comments and that their unanswered questions can now be resolved.

Download it on the Yin-Yang page here or from my main writing site, and please, let me know what you think!

Meanwhile, I’m going to go be deliriously happy and also take some ibuprofen for the headache from wrestling with the epub formatting…

PS, sorry, I don’t do covers. I’m a writer, not a graphic designer.

The Resurrection Project

Sounds so portentous as a title, doesn’t it? The only thing being resurrected is some old writing, so don’t worry, no zombies.

First, an apology. I haven’t been keeping up, and probably won’t be in the immediate future. Enough real-life stress hit me all at once to drop me to my knees, although it didn’t completely flatten me. My psychiatrist decided that, between that and my typically lower stress tolerance as days get shorter, we needed to try antidepressants again. Now, my earliest experiences were generally positive, good results with little or no side effects, but unfortunately they stop working for me after a while. I’m unsure whether my body is just rejecting anything new or whether the ones we’ve tried more recently are just harsher, but these days it tends to be little or no result and horrendous side effects. I spent most of October asleep, and the later part of it in pain every time I ate. Two weeks later, my body’s still trying to get past the effects, ie, sleeping a lot and eating very warily. Thus, it’s been difficult to come up with ideas for blog posts, let alone actually write them.

However, the worse I feel, the more my natural inclination is to run away mentally. I wasn’t feeling clear enough to do final YinYang revisions or work on the next novel. I could have worked on Gaia, my playground world. Continue reading

To My 15-year-old Self

Life and my own wonky brain chemicals caught up with me, and the meds that are supposed to help, well, don’t work as well as they used to. While I’ve felt like writing, I haven’t felt particularly clear or been able to settle even on a single thing to play with or work on. So, I decided to go back and read some of my very oldest work.

Now, I save everything. I still ache, knowing over a hundred pages ended up in a dumpster somewhere after my backpack was stolen – it was just an experiment, but it was part of me. I have roughly thirty 2-inch-ring binders that are filled to capacity with the longhand work from about 1988 onwards. It’s been a long time since I looked at the oldest. I actually spent a day last week laughing myself to tears because some of it is just so bad – and yet, from there I reached my current level, even though all I really had going for me at the time was lots of vague and unrefined ideas, decent technical language skills, a head full of things I’d read, and a huge amount of free time since we lived in the country and I had few chores to do.

And yet, as bad as it is… it also gives me a direct window into the way one teenager thought, and maybe more importantly, how she felt. It’s hard to remember how the world looked, over two decades ago, but reading the oldest, I can see it. Hundreds of pages of my own young self’s dreams, emotions, speculation, as she struggled to grasp things that were a stretch at the time: gender roles, priorities, personal responsibility, same-sex relationships, ethics and morality, the value of life and individuality, the difference between sex and love. I think it should probably be considered an invaluable and unreplaceable resource.

So, for anyone else in the kind of position I was in then, just getting going but questioning whether it’s worth it, I thought I’d figure out what I would say to myself of 25 years ago. (It’s long enough for 2 posts and then some, so maybe I’m making up for missing a couple lately!) Continue reading

Writing Diversity

I’m very big on diversity in writing, particularly when it comes to fantasy and science-fiction.

Our dominant, mass-media-driven culture is keen on portraying “normal” (=”good and right”) in very restrictive terms. (I’ve talked about this elsewhere.) With humanity still struggling with our tragic history of hatred and bigotry and many of us trying our best to get past that (unfortunately, far too many seem quite content to wallow in it), value judgements disguised as entertainment only undermine the slow climb towards equality.

That said… “political correctness” kills creativity.

Before you lynch me or stop reading, please understand. I’m not advocating that you portray prejudice and bigotry and hatred and all the countless “isms” as good things. In fact, our job as writers is to challenge the “isms” and show what the alternatives can be. Writing should show and celebrate the amazing and endless variety that occurs within humanity – and explore what can lie outside of that, when we’re playing with the supernatural or extra-terrestrial or otherwise non-human. Continue reading

Real life obstacles

Sorry to the handful of folks who are actually reading this – a lot is happening all at once, not so much catastrophic so far as a growing list of intense frustrations and distractions that for the most part I can’t do anything about, and I have nothing to offer just now that would be worth you taking the time to read it. I’ll be back to posting ASAP – back on schedule for next Monday with only the single missed post, I hope. If not, um… I’ll apologize more?

Meanwhile, the final edit on YinYang is briefly on hold as well. But there IS a new Moonblood episode available, and I’m messing about with my playground world Gaia since it’s relatively easy under most conditions.