Tag Archives: revising

Of revisions, translations, gardening, and this elusive summer

Oh, dear, I’ve been horribly lax about my blog lately. But that has a couple of reasons:

1) Big translation project

2) The weather has finally turned better here in Central Europe

At the moment, #2 is probably the most important. We have a “garden” about a 25 minute walk away from our apartment, a plot of land in the vineyards between Bad Cannstatt, Fellbach, and UntertĂĽrkheim with seventeen apple trees, as well as pear, cherry, quince and plums. (A recent storm did a lot of damage, but that’s a subject for another post, and besides, I don’t have the pictures up on Flickr yet.) It’s our little piece of paradise in the middle of the city.

The Garden

It’s also a lot of work. But with the recent ongoing rain, we haven’t had a chance to do any normal maintenance. So the other day we were finally out again, admiring all the weeds that sprouted up while it was raining for weeks on end. And the roses are getting spots and the tomatoes are developing blight. It’s enough to make a gal throw up her hands in defeat and get back to writing.

Well, I did a little of both, gardening and writing. The last couple of days in the garden, I’ve had my eeePC with me, and I’m now once through Beyond the Waters of the World, the next novella in the world of Looking Through Lace. Not completely done: I’m still missing two scenes I noted during the rewrite that I want to add in. I’d intended to be done by this past weekend, but revisions were a lot more substantial than I thought they’d be. (Duh.)

And then there was translating and Summer! Finally! (When summer is so rare, I think it’s a perfectly good excuse to temporarily fall behind in writing goals. We all need our vitamin D, after all.)

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The business of being your own publisher

I got very little writing work done this week, other than some rewriting of the next Looking Through Lace novella, Beyond the Waters of the World. I originally wrote the novella back when Looking Through Lace was published by Asimov’s, but it took me too long to finish, and by that time, Asimov’s was no longer interested in a further episode. Yet another of the many mistakes I’ve made during my writing career!

But now, after a number of reviewers have said they would like to read more about Toni and Kislan and interstellar cultural conflict, I pulled the old novella out from the depths of my hard drive and am in the process of blowing off the virtual dust and whipping the old puppy into shape. In preparation, I read through Looking Through Lace again and added an excerpt from the upcoming novella to the ebook.

While I was in ebook creation mode, I also rearranged the short stories in The Future, Imperfect, and fixed a couple of typos one of my readers found in Dragon Time. Then yesterday I uploaded new versions of three of my ebooks.

I’m about a fourth of the way through revisions and writing new new material for Beyond the Waters of the World now. (By the way, if anyone is interested in being a beta reader, let me know in the comments.) I also did an interview for Marshall Payne, which he will be putting up on his blog on Tuesday. But all of these things take time, and they take away from writing time.

On the positive side, I got some great placement on the Kindle Science Fiction and Fantasy page this week:

Featured in Fantasy

I never would have noticed it myself, since the default display is completely different if your location is given as Europe. Laurel Amberdine of Codex pointed it out to me, and with a couple of changed settings, I was finally able to see it on my own screen. Woot!

Wishing all a great week. 🙂

Back to Aphra Behn and Chameleon in a Mirror

The new version of Chameleon in a Mirror, my literary time travel featuring Aphra Behn, is going quite well. I’m 7,000 words in now, and if this keeps up, I can increase the target word count. Of course, I have a huge advantage in that I have the print-out of a completed novel by my side while I work. It may seem ridiculous to some that I have elected to type the novel in from scratch when it would be that much faster to just revise it, but that’s the point. I originally wrote this novel over fifteen years ago, and while I think the structure is still sound, my style has changed quite a bit. Sometime last summer, I had considered bringing Chameleon in a Mirror out as my first ebook novel, but when I started revising it, I realized it would need a lot more work than I originally envisioned. Then when my freelance editor of choice said she was booked through January, I decided to go with Yseult instead. I wanted to get a novel up by the new year, traditionally the best season for ebook sales, and Yseult had already been through both editors and translators and had been published in three languages (just not the original).

Then naturally, after I published Yseult and it was doing pretty well, it was much more logical to get the next Arthurian novel, Shadow of Stone, ready for publication.

But now that’s off to the editor, and Fragments of Legend is in need of more research, I can devote the time and effort needed to Chameleon in a Mirror. If I were just to revise the file, I would be much more tempted to leave things as they are. I’ve used the method of typing over from scratch a number of times, and I find it very effective in liberating myself from my old word choices. It also helps in questioning research and enlivening dialog and even in big picture elements like character motivation. The thing is, if I’m typing rather than just reading, I’m much more likely to hit a spot where I say to myself “Now wait a minute!” And then instead of revising, I’m writing completely new passages, which are (I hope) more in keeping with where I am now as a writer. 🙂

As Aphra Behn once said, “Faith, sir, we are here today, and gone tomorrow.”

In the marketing and sales realm, “Looking Through Lace” is doing quite well after its four day freebie, garnering another 5 star review and climbing through the paid ranks better than I expected. Here’s where it stands as of this post:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,532 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#15 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Short Stories
#23 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Anthologies

It’s still one of my favorites of the things I’ve written, even though it was first published almost ten years ago, so I’m very happy to see it reaching so many people. 🙂