Tag Archives: story

Setting the Statue Free

Today, I sit and work.

It’s been a strange week. Torn is out for copy-edits and proofreading, which leaves me in limbo. I can’t work on that until I know what I’m fixing. I could attack Book Three, but I’m just going to have to switch gears again when the edits on Torn come back, and I find that a tough adjustment if I get too deep into another project right now.

I don’t know how some people switch between multiple projects every day. I really don’t.

I have to work, though. Have to keep momentum up. So what I’m doing right now is just reading Book Three and taking notes. No changes. No deep digging and hard word-slinging. Just observing. Floating. Poking a little bit to see which parts are still wiggly and under-cooked.

And I’m lying in bed at night and having ideas.

Revision planning, baby.

Revision feels magical to me. Oh, it’s frustrating to read things through and realize how much work there is to be done.

But the potential there is so exciting. At this point, anything is possible. Maybe this time I will achieve the impossible, and have the words on the page reflect everything that’s in my mind. It’s all there. I just need to find it.

There’s a quotation I’ve seen attributed to Michelangelo:

 

michelangelo 1

 

 

Revisions feel a bit like that. The first draft was important. That was where I started with a big block of marble and started hammering away, creating the basic shape of the story.

And it’s a good shape. A solid shape. You can totally see what it’s supposed to be, and most of the details are visible. I wouldn’t want it to see the light of day at this point, but I wouldn’t die of embarrassment if it did.

But it could be so much more. The statue is still trapped in a layer of stone, and it’s my privilege to take a walk around the piece, observe it, mark my cuts and adjustments, and make it a thing of beauty.

At least, that’s the theory. In practice, I’m procrastinating, afraid to look at how much work there really is to be done. I can see my vision clearly… it’s just achieving it that’s the problem.

But I’ll never get there if I don’t start. So in the words of Michelangelo:

 

michelangelo2

 

Um… that would be a different Michelangelo. Still inspiring, though.

What are you all up to this week?

 

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COVER REVEAL – Fierce: Sixteen Authors of Fantasy

Hellooooooooo, everyone! This is an exciting cover reveal for me, because… well, you’ll see. Be sure to read through and sign up for the ThunderClapIt campaign for a chance at a free advance copy!

-Kate

—–

Very excited to present the cover for the forthcoming multi-author bundle, FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy. Click on the iBooks EXCLUSIVE Pre-Order below to reserve your copy today. On sale on all retailers March 10, 2015. We hope everyone will be looking forward to this!

FIERCE, Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy

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Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime!

Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order, journey between kingdoms of dragons and lands of anarchy as tales of magic and mayhem unfold.

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FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy pre-orders are available exclusively through iBooks.

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About the Authors and Titles:

Mercedes Lackey – Moving Targets

Stuck watching over four Herald trainees on circuit, Elyn is at her wits’ end—and that’s before a town asks for help with a ghostly infestation.

Michael G. Manning – The Blacksmith’s Son

A journey to discover the secrets of his past reveals a magical heritage and embroils Mordecai in a deadly battle for the future of mankind.

K.F. Breene – Chosen

Prophecy has foretold that when war threatens the world, the Chosen will appear to help the Shadow Warriors reclaim their stolen freedom and lead them out of the Land of Mist.

Morgan Rice – A Quest of Heroes

Thorgin, an outsider and a dreamer, fights to become a warrior in an epic quest that finds him at the center of a maelstrom of royal plots and counterplots that threaten him and everyone he loves.

Michael James Ploof – Whill of Agora

When Whill learns the truth of his lineage, he sets out to face his father’s murderer, but what he learns along the way will change his life—and the realm—forever.

Daniel Arenson – Requiem’s Song

Weredragons, men call them. Monsters. Cursed ones. People who can turn into beastly reptiles. Together they will forge a nation.

Kate Sparkes – Bound

When a young woman accidentally saves the life of an enemy Sorcerer, she finds herself drawn into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever imagined.

David Adams – The Pariahs

Two sellswords—a half-elf and a half-orc—find their war over before it even begins. But trouble is stirring on the home front, conflict which threatens more than just their lives.

Amy Raby – The Fire Seer
Taya must use her fire visions to investigate a series of murders, but the Coalition of Mages has partnered her with her old nemesis, the man who used to bully her when they were young.

C. Greenwood – Magic of Thieves & Betrayal of Thieves

In a province where magic is forbidden, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival—concealment.

David Dalglish – The Weight of Blood

When half-bloods Harruq and Qurrah Tun pledged their lives to a death prophet, they only sought escape from their squalid beginnings. Instead, they become his greatest disciples, charged with leading his army of undead.

K.J. Colt – Bear Heart

In the savage lands of Ruxdor, young Klawdia must fight the champions of four rival clans to defend her future as the first female chieftain.

Shae Ford – Poison

A bandit girl is taken from her home and thrust into a complex world of lords and ladies, where she learns that she must kill to survive.

Endi Webb – The Maskmaker’s Apprentice

Masks of legend. Masks of power. Those who dare to wear them trifle with the old powers and risk ruin and mayhem. But a young apprentice maskmaker cannot contain his curiosity, and accidentally unleashes a deadly terror upon an unsuspecting world.

Michael Wallace – The Dark Citadel

A slave boy and a young queen lead an alliance of spies, servants, and merchants to stave off the encroaching armies of a dark wizard.

Terah Edun – Blades of Magic

As an unstoppable war breaks out, a young girl enlists in the military to unravel the secrets surrounding her father’s execution.


The Fox

Have I ever told you about the magic that comes with the fog around here? It’s not something you notice right off.  In fact, I’d say most people just curse and fiddle with the high beams, or use it as a topic for small talk at the grocery store. But for those who pay attention, whose eyes are open to magic, the strangest things happen around here when the fog rolls in.

Take last week, for example. It was a cloudy day, but the roads were clear as I took the highway in to town. It’s a simple enough drive to do on auto-pilot, if you’re so inclined, but it’s a bad idea. In Newfoundland, you have to keep your eyes open for moose. Bunnies and weasels are tiny tragedies when you hit them, but a moose will total your car.

So sure, I was paying attention, but I was enjoying the drive, too– music cranked up, temperature controls set the way I like them, and enjoying the fact that the back seat, though as messy as ever, was free from any small people who might interrupt my passionate caterwauling. It’s not often that I get out without the kids, and I was making the most of my alone time.

The October leaves had captured my attention as I came around a wide bend in the road, and at first I didn’t notice the small, dark shape trotting down the shoulder of the highway through the thin fog that had settled in the low places. A fox, but not red. Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever seeing a red fox here. They’always got darker, black-tipped fur. Still, certainly a fox, bushy tail and all. I tapped the brakes and slowed in case he decided to dart in front of me, but I shouldn’t have worried. In fact, the fox stopped, parked his fluffy butt on the gravel shoulder, and raised a forepaw in the air.

I slowed again as I approached. The fox twisted his paw, holding it out like a human offering a handshake, and jerked it upward.

He’s hitchhiking, I thought, and pulled over. I’d never picked up a hitchhiker before, never trusting them not to be serial killers, but it seemed like a good time to make an exception. I leaned over and popped the passenger side door open, and the fox leapt up onto the seat. I excused myself as I pulled the door shut, and started down the road again.

“Thanks,” the fox said, and reached up one back foot to scratch at an ear. “I wasn’t sure that would work.”

“No problem,” I said. A car honked at me as it passed, and I checked my speed. Ten under the limit. I pressed harder on the gas pedal and tried to pay attention to my driving. “Where are you headed?”

“Just down a ways. You know the entrance to the dump?”

“I do.”

“That’ll be fine.”

I reached out to turn the music off. “You know, this is quite unusual. I can’t say I’ve ever met a talking fox before. Or given one a ride.”

“Yeah, well. What can you do?”

He didn’t seem inclined to say more, and we traveled for a few minutes in silence, save for the sound of his frequent scratching.

I turned in to the dump road. “You can just let me out here,” the fox said.

“Oh. Sure.” I hesitated, then asked, “Is that it, then?”

“I’m a little short on payment options.”

I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel. “No, that’s okay. It’s just that in stories, talking animals always appear to offer advice, or a warning, or to share something at a turning point in a person’s life. I thought maybe…”

The fox sighed and closed his eyes, then stretched his neck and stood. “Open the door,” he said, and I did.

He turned and sniffed the air, then raised a leg and pissed all over the back of the seat. He bounced out and trotted a few paces away before turning back and holding out a forepaw again, this time in a gesture that brought to mind a human flipping the bird.

“You want advice?” he asked. “Don’t pick up hitchhikers. It never ends well.”

And with that he was gone, bounding away into the mist.

I’m telling you guys. Things get weird around here when the fog rolls in.


WIPpet Wednesday- Night in the Garden

Good day and/or evening, folks! It’s time again for WIPpet Wednesday, where the jokes are made up and the points don’t matter… wait, that’s not right. No, WIPpet Wednesday is that wonderful day of the week where we (and you, if you’d like to join in, see links at the bottom) post a little bit of a work-in-progress that somehow relates to the date- say, 15 lines on the 15th, or a bit of chapter 6 on the 6th… it’s becoming my favourite blog day because I love reading everyone’s snippets.

Something simple this week, I think; everyone here’s sick, we don’t need the excitement. A quiet moment with Rowan looking out the window over a moonlit garden, accompanied by an odd but seemingly harmless eagle… I said is was simple, I didn’t say it wasn’t weird.

Three paragraphs from chapter three of Bound, and I’m cutting it off before we get to the teaser-y part so you guys don’t call me mean again 😛 :

The moon was full and hazy behind the thin clouds that stretched across the sky, bathing the flower garden beneath my window in cool, shadowless light. Most of the flowers had died off or gone to sleep for the winter, but the cherry tree still held its odd mix of flowers and fruits, and the rose and lilac bushes were covered in blooms.

“It’s funny, isn’t it?” I asked Aquila, and he glanced back at me from his perch in the tree. “The flowers. I remember how surprised I was my first autumn here, when they didn’t wilt or fade until well into the winter. Everything in the garden bloomed long back then, the ground flowers as much as the trees. When I was little, I used to think it was because the garden was in love with my aunt. She cared so much for it, like it was a child or a friend, and I thought that the flowers were the garden’s way of loving her back. Now that she doesn’t go out there anymore, the flowers only bloom when they’re supposed to. The trees have longer memories, though.”

Aquila fluffed his feathers and stared at me. “I know, it’s stupid,” I said, and leaned farther out the window. “Matthew told me it’s just because the trees were cultivated over generations to bloom long, and he doesn’t have as much time to tend the flowers as Victoria did, so they die off more quickly. I still sometimes like to think it, though. It was the only magic I ever really had.”

Don’t forget to check out what the rest of the WIPpeteers are up to this week- just click here for the links. And as always, a big thank you to our sponsors… I mean, our lovely host, K.L. Schwengel!


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