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Dragons! Lip gloss! Death!
Just a quick note to say that I'm the guest blogger this week over at the Borders.com BabelClash blog, which has been doing wonders for forcing me to get my act in gear and update my website, tweet a bunch more, and also blather on randomly (today's entry segued from Midsummer Night's Dream at the NY City Ballet into Black Powder War, which impressed me even if nobody else).

And I have actually posted once a day! for -- um, most days. except that one where -- and the one where it was after midnight -- er, the two where it was after -- I have posted QUITE A LOT FOR ME, okay?

I'll be posting a bunch of the new content over here once my stint is done, but if you have any burning questions, I still have posts to fill! So ask me (over there or over here)! :D
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Just to let you all know, I'm doing an online chat tonight (at 7pm eastern, in a little more than an hour) with the fabulous Scott Westerfeld, over on Suvudu.com.


Should be fun! Drop by and pelt us with questions! :D
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I've done a short piece for the Significant Objects challenge, for this peculiar little item:

which is now up on ebay, through the 21st. It now makes me feel plaintive to look at it; I at least managed to invent meaning for myself, although that is not really the point of the challenge. *g*

Meanwhile, in OTHER significant objects news, I just had this lovely thing put into my hands:


In His Majesty's Service, the new omnibus edition of Temeraire books 1-3 (His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War), with the new Lien short story, which comes out October 27 -- in hardcover mostly, but Borders will have an exclusive trade paperback edition in stores.

Shawn Speakman of The Signed Page is being awesome and coming out here to New York for me to do a signed edition of the book, and what's really nice is he only adds a couple extra dollars on top of the cover price (& I believe will ship anywhere in the world, so you don't have to be in the US only). There's no limit on the numbers, but I think he's only doing enough to fill preorders and then a bit extra, because he has to ship it back to his office from NYC, so if you're interested, you want to order soon -- he's coming the first week of November.

Finally, I also want to put out a word for the Organization for Transformative Works' biannual fundraising drive, running this week -- this year we are testing out an experimental round of shiny swag, including this very shiny spillproof mug which goes both ways (no lefty discrimination!), helps protect the fair-use rights of fan creators and also keeps your drink hot! *g*

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I am freshly back (and mostly recovered) from an amazing research trip to upside-down land for book 6, which I am tentatively calling Tongues of Serpents, and happy to announce that Victory of Eagles is freshly out in paperback!

I have not blogged about the trip as I have been hurriedly polishing off the last few short stories I had due before clearing my slate for book 6 (and, um, powervoting for Adam Lambert), but my editor Betsy has written up a little sneak preview of the start of book 6 with some photos from the trip -- I'll be putting some more up on the website as soon as I get my act together to update it, cough.

In other news, I am doing a reading tonight at Ellen Datlow & Matthew Kressel's KGB reading series, for any folks in NYC! It officially starts at 7pm, although it's generally a good idea to get there at least 10-15 minutes beforehand. KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs.)

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For many reasons which do not require exploring at this juncture (ps to justinelavaworm, I think you have a fairy of choosing unreasonably good wine and I both thank you and curse your name), this did not get finished yesterday in time, but I really wanted to say something for Ada Lovelace Day even if belatedly!

I have been the only woman in the room.Collapse )

And now I have a whole slateful of tech heroines filling this new room, including each and every one of the women in the OTW blog post, which also links to a bunch of their individual heartening and brilliant posts.

And to pick out one among them, who was also a hero for me personally long before the OTW was even an idea: jadelennox was the first tech geek woman I ever worked with professionally. She showed me how to patch cable and let me jump in and muddle around with systems work and hacking even though I'd been hired for a nontechnical job on the strength of my English major; she let me ask many stupid questions without ever once making me feel stupid, and all around helped put me on a path of confidence that I could figure all these things out. And these many years later she was willing to come aboard to build the OTW Systems team and get us up and running. \o/ Because of her, I wasn't the only woman in the room at my first job, which made a huge difference for me.

I will also hugely encourage anyone who's thought a little wistfully that it would be cool to know how to code but felt it seemed impossible to read zooey_glass04's amazing Ada Lovelace Day post, and to think about volunteering too!

In other exciting news, I am now on twitter also, where I am about to go off and link this post. :)

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I don't do well with heated online discussions myself, and so I want to say up front that I don't want this post to be taken as pressure on anyone else to participate. I am only ever for people engaging online how they choose and however works for them at any given moment.

That said, I do want to say in the context of what feels like an unending stream of awful (link to rydra_wong's summary of the situation), that this makes me all the more painfully aware (if I wasn't already) why many fans of color don't feel happy and welcome in sff fandom, and I am really sorry that is the case. I have often been uncomfortable with the lack of diversity I see on the bookshelf, at cons, and in this industry (and not at all unrelatedly, in the tech & gaming industries), and in a vicious circle, I think this is at once the result and the cause. I am glad that there are more fans of color speaking up, because that is the only way stuff will ever change, and I wish that there was less fail in the responses. :(

In particular there is IMO never an excuse when anyone takes an online disagreement, from which they can disengage at any time, and escalates to real-world harm against the people they are disagreeing with. And I include outing in that as well as physical violence. To me, that's Godwin's law raised to the power of a million -- you have lost not only that argument but also any other argument you might ever have, because you are preemptively silencing any disagreeing voices who happen to be vulnerable in the real world, who now know they cannot risk engaging with you. Which is even more problematic in discussions where the whole point is a highly privileged group being criticized by a less privileged group, because people in the latter group are a lot more likely to be vulnerable.

And just to forestall -- sorry, but if you deliberately use your real name online and connect your blog/lj to your professional works, as most pro writers do for the marketing benefit, then participating in an online disagreement in a way that turns some people off your work rather than inducing them to buy is not real world harm inflicted by your opponent.

I also hope that my own works don't make anyone want to beat their head against a wall, for this or for that matter any other reason. But if they do and you feel like saying so or why, here or elsewhere, while I can't promise to respond because that's dependent on the limitations of my time & energy, I do promise to treat you and your opinion with respect, and if it's in a space I control, not to let people jump on you for having criticism to offer. And while I don't actually think critique has any obligation to be a service to the author, for whatever it's worth to you, I do find critique valuable, and try to listen to it with an open mind and without defensiveness.

I will add that to me, including characters of color, writing about cultures other than my own and being inspired by them, is the furthest from a no-win situation that I can imagine. It's not some obligation -- it makes my work better, and I don't mean morally, I mean more fun. It is hard to build characters and worlds and make them come alive and be vivid and distinct. It gets easier the more diversity and the more real elements we draw on, and as an author, I "win" the second that I broaden the scope and interest of my work by doing so. I don't get how trying to make my work better is doing people of color a noble favor.

And if someone criticizes me for how I do it, okay. PoC are not scary, and someone saying "I don't want you messing up my culture" is not less reasonable than someone saying "I don't want you messing up the names of the sails on a ship" just because it requires more work on the author's part to do a decent job.

Anyway, as the subject says, I am mostly posting because I wish all of this went without saying, but it clearly doesn't yet. I can't promise to respond to comments here any more reliably than I usually do, sorry, although I will monitor them in case of more fail, but in any case I would really like to direct discussion back to the blogs and journals of people who are talking about race in sff (and other) literature and fandom in ways beyond what should go without saying -- to name a few, deepad, zvi_likes_tv, ciderpress, bravecows, ktempest are all people whose posts I both enjoy and find illuminating (some lately discovered, some for a long while).
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So I am very very happy to announce that my publishers have gotten onto the pixel-stained technopeasant bandwagon, and you can now find His Majesty's Dragon available as a free download at Del Rey's brand-new Suvudu Free Library, along with many other fine works including Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb, Settling Accounts: Return Engagement by Harry Turtledove, and Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt. \o/

Of course, I would kind of assume that most of you reading here have already read the book (because I am otherwise a pretty boring ljer, cough), but if you've got a hardcopy and would like a nice shiny PDF with no horrible DRM (yay), you can grab! And please do pass it along to pals and anyone you think might like to give it a try.

eta! It is also available free in the Kindle store on Amazon (where I always love reviews if you are so inclined :D).

Meanwhile, I am happy to report also that Temeraire book 6 is underway (due in to my editor in August, coming out when I have no idea because I fail at understanding publishing industry schedules). My own working title is Tongues of Serpents, but who knows what it will end up as, so do not take that as final.

PS to demonbunny@deviantart: well, now there's going to be a koala attack. ♥

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... and I just realized that I had temporarily locked down commenting in my lj to shut off a wave of spammers, and never remembered to unlock it. *facepalms*

But at least it is snowing fluffily outside!
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Oh dear.

Reasonable query from Swedish translator, re Empire of Ivory chapter 6: What place does this line refer to?

What was worse, their officers corrected them none too sharply for their hesitation, with predictable results: off the coast of the Horn she missed stays, and had to be hurriedly box-hauled

Why, Cape Horn, of course, I blithely reply, meaning the tip of South America, which is what the Horn automatically means to me (and I would imagine to anyone else who reads 19th c. naval adventure).

Even more reasonable follow-up query: Why are they going around the Horn on their way from England to South Africa?

Me: That's... a very good question.

I literally have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote that line. The only other possibility I can guess is I meant the Horn of Africa, except that is on the completely wrong side of Africa. I can't even have meant the Cape of Good Hope instead, because they were several months away at that point in the journey.

*tries to come up with alternative for next printing* :P
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Okay, sorry, I know, but how often does one have a legitimate excuse to talk like a pirate?

I have just gotten in the mail the extremely spiffing
Fast Ships, Black Sails
anthology by Jeff & Ann Vandermeer, containing my very-first-ever-officially-published short story, "Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake," (yes, I am clearly fond of doing things backwards).

My copy came complete with extra piratey goodness including stickers (sadly not included with the book in stores, but I plan to tuck them in my bag next time I am doing a signing and stick one on any copies of this that show up. *g*). However, yours will come chock-full of more fabulous stories like matociquala and truepenny's fantastic "Boojum," and Howard Waldrop's "Avast, Abaft" which is very silly and yet satisfying for reasons that will become apparent to kindred spirits from reading the opening line, "The Pinafore's gaining on us, Your Majesty," yelled the bosun. *g*

And I am even more gleeful as this story has gotten me my first-ever mention on fandom_secrets (like Post Secret only for fandom!), entry 118 of this set.

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Hi all, I am doing a quick live post from Comic-Con just to show off the BEST THING EVER, ie, this:

No, sadly, you cannot has a Temeraire of your very own. This piece was hand-made by Glenn of astrolux design, who made it by repainting a Todd McFarlane dragon in Temeraire's colors and putting together new box art using this gorgeous piece by sandara from the wiki/deviantart. He popped it out and GAVE it to me right in the signing line!

*clutches Temeraire to heart*

You cannot see the detail in my bad cameraphone pictures (my camera battery is running out and I forgot to take along the charger, sigh) but it "includes loch laggan action set" and it is "divine wind" action Temeraire. ♥

In other news, Comic-Con remains overwhelming, and I am coping by spending large quantities of time by the pool or wandering around on the tall ships in the harbor. (I have finally! been on the Surprise!) I worry that someone is going to come and take away my fan credentials. On the other hand, earlier this afternoon I was set loose on the dealers' room for a grand total of half an hour and wound up dragging nearly half of it back to my hotel room with a guilty air, so this is really probably an unconscious defense mechanism.

I am off now for my last signing, and then I am free! free! until I get picked up at 6am on Monday to head off to Seattle and Portland. \o/
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I have been home this weekend recovering from the first leg of the tour before they ship me out again tomorrow, and just wanted to wave hi to all of you I've had a chance to meet, and share some glee. :D

First, though, some non-self-centered glee: tor.com! yay! The site looks really fabulous, and chock-full of awesome content.

So the tour kicked off with the previously-mentioned launch party, which came complete with regency dancing by the fabulous Susan de Guardiola and friends, which you can see for yourself below in this, well, slightly shaky clip (taken with my tiny digital camera) that is nevertheless great fun. They did this really fabulous quadrille (a few years off the Temeraire time period, but we stretched the point, as it is very spiffy and exciting to look at).

Also, I got a shiny! elisem of lioness.net surprised me at the party with Indomitable, this amazing pendant featuring "dragonscale carnelian", which I have now been wearing to every reading, appropriately, for courage.

picture and more from the launch party, behind the cut!Collapse )

Then it was on to the Barnes & Noble at Greenwich Village, for my first-ever bookstore signing, v. exciting. My awesome publicist David Moench of Del Rey suggested reading something new, rather than an excerpt from the book, so I have been reading a short story called "Vici" (which will be appearing in a new Dragons anthology from Gardner Dozois at some point soon), and having heaps of fun with it. It's set in the Temeraire universe, but much earlier, and is the story of the taming of the first dragon in the West.

Ever since I had to read at South Street Seaport AFTER the amazing ellen_kushner (whom you all want to hear read in person if you ever get a chance, seriously), I have been determined to get better at readings. I feel like I am maybe starting to get the hang of it, the most important lesson being to have no shame and just dive in there, and try to do voices. Everyone loves voices! They keep people awake! And as no one expects an author to actually be a great performer, the bar is nice and comfortably low, and people have been very nice to me. *g*

greenwich village photosCollapse )

Then I hit the road, or rather Amtrak, to visit Pandemonium in Boston, where Tyler et al. made me very welcome, and gave me some aviator gogglesCollapse )

I also felt bitter envy of all the teenagers gaming in the other room. Why was there no Pandemonium where I grew up? My sister, who was often forced to play Dungeons and Dragons against her will, also asks this question.

And, I had a pal there with a Flip camera, so I even have a little clip of me doing my thing:

I stayed on and spent the weekend there with friends, mostly sitting outside in an actual YARD -- do you know that people have actual land, sometimes, without a building on it, right next to their house? There are trees on it, and grass, and you can even put a table and chairs out, and if you are lucky someone will even put out a grill and make you corn on the cob and things. I am slightly suspicious of this and yet it appeals. I even got a bunch of outlining done on the Secret Garden-inspired YA.

After that, it was on to Philadelphia, D.C., and Richmond, in a mad and gleeful three-day rush. It's interesting to me how quickly you can fall into a routine, moving from one hotel to the next -- arrive, open suitcase, toiletries flung into bathroom, everything quickly has a place in the suitcase.

In Philly I got to read at the gorgeous Free Library, after spending a beautiful hot sunny afternoon sitting out writing by a fountain in a park, which I have identified as the JFK Plaza (I love Google Maps), and in D.C. I repeated the process at Dupont Circle, then bopped along to do an interview at the Fast Forward studios and then to read at the Borders at Bailey's Crossroads, where I met by far the noisiest crowd, helped along by a band of ringers planted in the audience. *g*

Afterwards I went out with the ringers to what we expected to be a nice quiet shoebox restaurant that unexpectedly had a LOUD live band in the back, sending us out into the Arlington streets peregrinating, oh, half a block to an Irish pub, where I grilled people for details about vocal training (for a story, although I am finding it tempting now for myself).

Sadly, my camera spent the whole time sitting in my suitcase in my hotel room, uselessly. :/ So if there are any of you out there who were at these readings and got any photos, I would love copies!

I did get some photos in Richmond, but, um, none of the actual reading at Leila's fabulous Creatures and Crooks bookstore. *facepalm* A friend took me around to these two gorgeous old houses -- you see, at one point there were at least two tobacco tycoons in Richmond who had excessive money and possibly an unhealthy sense of competition, because right next door to each other there are not one but two houses which were brought over from England brick by brick, Agecroft and Virginia House, both with splendid gardens which were our aim. VH was closed by the time we finished walking about the Agecroft gardens, so, er, we broke in! (This involved daringly crossing a small patch of grass and jumping down two feet from a low rock wall.)

There, I was able to capture EXOTIC FAUNA in the WILD.

behold!Collapse )

After the reading, having spent the very hottest part of the day tramping around Virginia in what everyone assured me was a nice, mild, not-too-hot day (I am pretty confident there was some snickering going on behind their hands as they said this), I went back to the hotel and fell over.

And then the next morning, it was onto the Amtrak Regional all the way home, a trip that was supposed to be six hours and predictably became eight, but I had a seat, my laptop, my iphone, and a bottle of water, so really it was pretty much like spending the day at home. Got about 2500 words of the other story for Gardner done, and hopefully the plane trip tomorrow will see that close to its end.

Tomorrow I am off to San Francisco! I cannot say that without hearing Eddie Izzard's voice. Town, city, of gleaming spires. People live here! ALCATRAZ.

All right, and speaking of which, I ship out at 0800 tomorrow, ungodly hour, so I will end here and dash off to finish packing. \o/

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I have just staggered back in from the launch party for Victory of Eagles and Fifty-to-One, which went smashingly, and return here to the happy news that some have sighted it in the wild. Yay!

^ Above sentence written last night, proving to be as much as I could manage before I gave up on the internets and went to sleep.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the book, either here (so warning for spoilers in the comments!) or on Amazon/bn.com/etc, if you want to link me to your reviews, even if you are not as nice to me as rmartin101 was in the comments on the last post. :D

I also abuse your flists a little bit to bring you shiny cover art:

I am still racing around today as the excitement continues with a reading/signing tonight at the Barnes & Noble in Greenwich Village (7:30pm at 8th Street and 6th avenue, for any of you NYC types who can make it). Now I must go time myself so I don't put everyone to sleep with the droning three-hour reading of doom or whatnot, eep.

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Sadly, all these two things have in common is that the first is keeping me from the second -- I have tix to the Izzard show this Saturday night \o/, and therefore I cannot be at the Regency Assembly at the 92nd St Y. But I wanted to tout it to any of you in the NYC area, selfishly, in hopes it will be a great success and there will be another one I can go to!

There's a workshop from 7-8, then a ball from 8:30 - 11:30, and you get to dress up either in period or formal wear (this is a selling point for me, as I hold there are never enough opportunities to get dressed up) and have period refreshments. Spare Parts (who do a lovely Regency Ballroom CD) are playing, and Susan de Guardiola (who ran the fantastically fun regency dancing at Balticon this year) will be calling the dancing -- she did an amazing job of teaching a roomful of people (most of whom, yours truly included, had not a clue what they were doing) how to do a whole bunch of regency dances.

So if you are in range, whether you are into the period or into interesting dancing, you should totally go and have fun, and I am only sorry I am missing it, though excited to partake of cake or death.
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Okay, so less than 24 hours later, I have a shiny updated list of tour info with times and addresses and everything, so clearly I should have waited to post. But here it is! A reading at Pandemonium in Boston and Anderson's in Chicago (on August 19) have been added to the list.

official list of appearances

and also posted hereCollapse )

Also, I should mention, while I'm in Seattle, I'll also be signing at The Signed Page, which helps provide fans with a signed or personalized book for cover price even if you can't make it to a signing. You go to their website, order the book you want along with your desired message, I'll sign it while I'm there, and they'll ship it out to you.

Sadly, no Worldcon or Dragoncon for me this year -- I'm sad especially to be missing Worldcon for the first time in five years, but I am playing it safe this time around, and after the tour I am pretty much going to curl up in a ball at home and hermit with the 2.5 books that all have decided they want to be written now, plz. Next year in Jerusalem Montreal?

music: David Cook - The Music of the Night (American Idol Studio Version)

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I've sent out the notice on the Temeraire mailing list, so some of you may already know -- and ha, as I write this, I see the extremely speedy inkasrain has beat me to that and already found it in advance! -- but the Victory of Eagles sneak preview is now up on the Temeraire website!

It is available as a shiny, shiny PDF or in HTML, whichever suits.

I'd love to hear what you think! \o/

And also, I am excited to say, they're sending me on tour for this one.

dates and placesCollapse )

So hopefully I get to meet some of you during the peregrinations. :D

and ETA to thank you all and go aww! I am sorry I won't be hitting all that many regions this time around -- to be honest, I wiped myself out pretty badly back in '06 with too much traveling and lost the equivalent of a book in terms of energy, so I am now being pretty cautious, and they are keeping the tour to mostly places I can get to conveniently by train, aside from the stint on the west coast.

I will also be doing a reading in Chicago on August 19, although I don't know the venue just yet, and there might be a few other places added. Will update here as I know more. :)

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music: David Cook - Billie Jean (American Idol Studio Version)

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So first I have to say a huge and belated thank-you for all the lovely birthday wishes ♥, and also to reassure: you have not missed the first chapter of Victory of Eagles! I am impatiently waiting for a pretty and nicely typeset PDF file from my editor, which I am assured is on its way any day now. (This will be going out on the Temeraire mailing list, which you can join/leave whenever you like at www.temeraire.org, and I will announce and post here afterwards as well.)

I would also like to point you all to the extremely shiny jewelry auction currently underway to benefit the Interstitial Arts Foundation, the publishers of Interfictions. Fabulous stuff for a fabulous cause! (You can also subscribe to iafauctions to follow the auction as new pieces are added one by one.)

Life has been a little mad lately mostly for very fun reasons, particularly because I ended up with three separate theater dates in six days -- the one I had planned, and the two unexpected sets of birthday presents. My verdicts: Macbeth: director Rupert Goold & Patrick Stewart both brilliant, see this if you possibly can. Rent: great dancing and fun energy, but badly over-amplified. Dangerous Liaisons: fabulous costumes and a Valmont I actually believed in as a seducer, some v. clunky dialogue in bits, rape scene extra-creepy because Cécile didn't feel like a period character.

Then there was the Cinco de Mayo get-together and the lunch with family and the planning for the Victory of Eagles launch and tour and somewhere in there there's been some OTW meetings, and recruiting another twenty coders and another forty revisions committed to the archive code, and finishing a short story (set in the past of the Temeraire universe, for Gardner Dozois's upcoming DRAGONS anthology), and hours watching david cook performances on youtube, don't mock me, and at the end of it all there is a slightly enervated me. *forms puddle and quivers*

And on that note, I will now go to bed before it hits 4am, oh dear.
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So hey, I should have mentioned this before -- I'm at New York Comic-Con this weekend! I was on a fun panel today, which was lovely for me although I am afraid it does not help any readers here who might have wanted to come, sorry! and then tomorrow (Saturday, that is) I will be signing from 12-1pm at the Del Rey booth (#1920). I have heard conflicting reports on what I will be signing; there are definitely copies of His Majesty's Dragon to give away, but there may or may not be copies of the Victory of Eagles ARC too. :D

From beta session from the story I'm currently working on, set in ancient Rome, spurred by the mistake "we has received":

Francesca: it was so nuts it might be intentional
Naomi: lolcats rome
Naomi: heeeee
Francesca: but I don't think so!
Francesca: ahahah
Francesca: yes
Francesca: you really ought to!
* Naomi rewrites all my work in lolcats
Francesca: we has received testimony!
Francesca: wow, yes
Naomi: Temeraire: I can has cow?
Francesca: hee
Naomi: Laurence: No you can't has. Not yours.
Naomi: Temeraire: :(
Francesca: Napoleon: DO NOT WANT!

And now back to wrestling with both Mark Antony and Ruby on Rails, and also back to my carrot cake from Dean & Deluca, which surprised me (I have been Disappointed in carrot cakes on many occasions) by being really excellent and not over-full of raisins, with icing that is just a nice thin soft not-too-sweet smear instead of a layer of mortar. (I am not by any means eating this before eating actual dinner. No, no.)

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I am freshly back from Norwescon, but the first joyful thing I have to share is not about the con, but that the Organization for Transformative Works is now open for membership! \o/ And you can read all about it (in English, Čeština, Deutsch, Español, Français, and Italiano) at the otw_news community -- where, by the way, we are eagerly looking for more translators. You can also see our very cool (if I do say so myself, cough) roadmap for the design of our archive software.

I got to meet a whole bunch of really smashing fellow fans, including Rob Carlos, who started sketching in my Q&A at 11am on Friday, and less than 24 hours later handed me this piece, which he's put in the wiki: Temeraire, Lily, Maximus. Oh, and then as an afterthought he whipped out this one the very next day: Napoleon & Lien.

I also happily scored a copy of Pat Rothfuss's first book, another one by the very dapper Bruce Taylor, and two spectacular art books by Ciruelo, the artist guest of honor -- I've loved his work for years so it was an especial treat to meet him, and also to hopefully not-too-embarrassingly fangirl all over Dan Simmons. *g* I also picked up a truly fabulous feather headdress in the dealer's room and a couple of pieces by Mai Nguyen, but sadly wasn't able to stay for the art auction to try and grab the larger one. But it is just as well! Cons are dangerous places for the wallet.

Of course for now the books have joined my sad unread pile, while lies behind the terrifying stack of the copyedited MS that I am supposed to be working on right now. My current excuse is the copyeditor switched to blue pencil from red, and all my copyediting pencils were carefully chosen blue exactly for contrast! argh. But I have dug out a few hot-pinkish ones from my old box of colored pencils and hand-sharpened them with a penknife since they are too crumbly for the pencil sharpener (uphill in the snow! both ways!) and must go back to the grind.

Last bit of glee: while I was at the con, Bill of Subterranean Press sent me the hot-off-the-presses limited edition! I don't know if I mentioned what they're doing with the covers -- after some back and forth with Dominic Harman (who did the gorgeous original UK covers), the decision was that for the first three, we'd do modified versions of the three UK covers, and then starting with book 4, Dominic will be creating new art in the UK-cover style, for a complete matching set. \o/

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ETA: edited to add direct permanent links to the other participants' posts!

jpsorrow put together this idea, which I thought was fun, of posting a successful synopsis: the kind of short summary you might send along with a query letter to get an agent or editor interested in seeing the full manuscript. The idea is to give any of you out there who are aspiring writers (or just curious!) a bunch of examples that were used to help sell a book.

My examples here are a little atypical: Betsy got interested in His Majesty's Dragon just from the manuscript itself, but they were interested in additional books; so she then asked me for synopses of the next two books before we agreed on the first three-book deal.

NOTE: Spoilers galore within! This is actually an important tip: do not worry about spoiling your prospective agent/editor. Give them all you've got. You will also note that there are many, many differences between these synopses and the eventual books, not least the titles.

Original Synopsis for Throne of JadeCollapse )

Original Synopsis for Empire of IvoryCollapse )

You don't get to see the rest of the original synopsis for Book IV because it is spoilery for future books. :D

I would ramble on a lot more about the changes but I am running around like mad getting ready to leave for Norwescon -- hope to see some of you there! Here's my schedule for the con.

And here for you to check out are links to more Plot Synopsis Project participants!Collapse )


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Going straight from one much-extended deadline to another, I have managed (with much indulgence from the editors) to get my story in for Fast Ships, Black Sails, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer's pirate anthology from Night Shade books, full of fabulous piratey goodness from many amazing writers, including fellow lj'ers matociquala and truepenny!

My own story is "Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake" (cough, please ignore the multiple signs of title indecision you might find littered across various mentions of the anthology -- either I have a title when I start or I wrestle with it for ages afterwards). I had really a ridiculous amount of fun writing this; in my own head it was a mix of Georgette Heyer, those old Sinbad movies with the stop-motion monsters, and Orlando. (Whether any of this got onto the page you'll have to tell me if you read it. *g*)

I am currently doing the last real edits on Victory of Eagles (well, okay, what I have mostly been doing is re-reading all Heyer's regency romances in a fit of post-book laziness, but edits are also getting done), and then I have a whole seventeen months before my deadline for book 6. \o/ I have been working on a Temeraire book nonstop since I started His Majesty's Dragon in January 2004, so now it feels like glorious vistas of playtime stretch out before me! Thanks to various spurts of procrastination over the last few years, I have the beginnings of a couple short stories, a screenplay, and three novels -- the hard part is going to be choosing what to work on. *dances*

Meanwhile, I am going to be at Norwescon in Seattle from March 19-23, New York Comic-Con April 18, and Balticon May 23-25, and then, gulp, apparently there is a book tour up ahead. *quivers in fear* I don't have details yet but it will probably involve hitting San Diego Comic-Con. More news to come!

The first chapter of Victory of Eagles will go out over the Temeraire mailing list (signup on the website) and be posted here soon as copyedits are done, so look for it probably the week after I get back from Norwescon.


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Victory of Eagles final draft* is in.

110,000 words. Comes out in July.

*falls over*

*but there's always the copyedit stage!
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Lots of exciting OTW-related posts and discussions taking place -- just linking to a few! There's merryish's post about the merits of fanfic, sockkpuppett's about transformative work, and posts more specifically about OTW on otw_news itself, boingboing, Ethan Zuckerman's blog, Kristina Busse's blog, Tobias Buckell's blog, and a rousing thread on John Scalzi's Whatever -- and for anyone else who may be wondering, yes, please do feel free to link us and pass it along!

We're reading all of these and already planning to mine them to expand our FAQ, but I thought I'd share this bit I posted in the discussion on the Whatever -- many of the concerns I'm seeing raised are about the commercialization of fanfic, and we really do want to clarify that this isn't what the OTW is about.

OTW and fan worksCollapse )

And now, I must go watch Supernatural like a good fan, and then go write more of book 5, like a good pro. *g*


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Yes, so, this is one reason among others ("others" including struggling on towards the end of book 5 -- not quite there yet, but getting close) why I have been scarce and quiet of late:

The Organization for Transformative Works

Our shiny new website, written and revised and designed and built by the work of a great many incredibly talented fans, says it all better and in more detail than I can, but here's the basics: the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fanculture in its myriad forms. I myself have been and am a fan long before I am a pro, and the community of fan creators in particular is really in many ways my home. I believe deeply that transformative work enriches both those who do it and those who inspire it, and I am so very excited about this project.

If you like what you see, and you're interested in following along on future updates, we have a whole slew of places you can watch: mailing list, del.icio.us account, Twitter channel, and the otw_news community, which is mirrored on LJ, on GreatestJournal, InsaneJournal, and JournalFen. The website announcement and our first newsletter are both up now in all those places, with details on our various projects and what's going on right now.

Hopefully some of you here may be interested in fanwork and fanfic yourselves, and find common ground with the org and want to get involved -- please do join us!

(also, yay, boingboinged! \o/)


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wrote 14,000 words

made nytimes bestseller list

killed some monsters in GuildWars

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