Category Archives: Writing, Books

On writing, writers, books, graphic novels… basically anything writing related

From my reams of F&C novel notes:

“Consider: The universe is a mathematical construct that is ultimately definable, vs. It’s possible for something to be greater than the sum of its parts. Also: The ideas of a micro-universe without mass, and non-deity-based spontaneous creation.”

I’m starting to think it might be genetically impossible for me to come up with a simple story idea.
—–

On the more mundane domestic front, I have to say that having the plumbers over five times in one month is a bit much.  On the up side, our shower is no longer limited to scalding us with a thin trickle of blazing hot water.  Hooray for the return to refreshing cold showers on a wiltingly hot day.

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Little Miss Kitty, first day home

Sorting through the digital boxes in the virtual attic of an old & cluttered computer may not have the same smells and dust-covered memorabilia to trigger memories the way a real attic has, but it can unleash unexpected floods of emotion all the same.

The following is a transcript of the journal entry I wrote on the very first day we brought Miss Kitty home (click on the link for the full version).

I can’t say why it’s so much easier to write (and ultimately, share) something like this than it is to give the same tribute to the human family members and friends that we’ve lost. Maybe it’s because it’s uncomplicated – no strings or baggage attached, no thorny complications. Maybe it’s because we don’t have to share her with other people, who have their own ideas of who she was, and what she meant to them. She was our girl, plain and simple – and we’ll miss her forever.

MKF – Day One (Original Journal Entry, Full Version)

– T.H.

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The dark has come, riding the chill, rain-spattered winds of November, leaving wet leaves clinging to the soles of our shoes, and spawning intense cravings for hot chocolate and home-made soup. What better time to huddle in front of the warm glow of the monitor and let the flow of words take you into another world.  A sunnier one, perhaps, somewhere far south of here.  Or, in my case, somewhere even darker, and much, much scarier.  I’ve given myself a couple of November challenges, one of which is to write every day (or close thereto). This evening I braved the damp and the (okay actually relatively mild) breezes (which nonetheless kept trying to turn my umbrella inside out) to write at my favourite cafe.  Here are a few random sentences from the last few days of editing that fit oddly well together, despite being from two different chapters:

The trees were moving. A deep, undulating ripple, travelling toward them at a speed normally reserved for supersonic aircraft.

At least two things were certain. The storm had come, there was no doubt about that. And Bryn was going to be more than a mite displeased when he informed her that he intended to keep his word.

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The first poem attempted in honour of National Poetry Month was written all in one sitting at my favourite café, by hand, in real ink on real paper, and filled 15 pages of my new notebook (a gorgeous false memory of a Byzantium that might have been, gifted to me by a friend). The poem is far too long to post as text, but I have plans for it that involve the rendering of sound into digital form and various other devious machinations, none of which are quite at the ready stage yet. So for today, there is something very short, and bitter-sweet. I would have aimed for something hopeful, or silly, or bright in that way that fanfares of trumpets are, but this is where things live, and have lived for weeks, and maybe for a long time to come, so this is what there is. Happy Poetry Month, everyone; and may your dreams be filled with words and wonder, and some amount of peace.

====

I heard her voice again, today
when everyone else was sound asleep;
Funny how the empty space
where something should be, but isn’t
can follow you around.

 – T.H.

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Excellent and inspiring article, with some tips on how to stay focused:

http://writerunboxed.com/2013/02/01/the-writer-as-inventor/

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50, 264 words in 21 days*

Best prose of the month?
Written in the final 2 hours of the last writing day.

(*50, 062 according to the official NaNo robot counter)

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“Are they still shouting at each other?”

Caitlin glanced back, and shrugged. “Well, she hasn’t thrown him overboard yet. What in god’s name is Troy doing?”

“Whatever it is, something this big, I don’t imagine there’s much damage he can do.”

“Even if it involves matches?”

“Ow!” Feid put his hand to his cheek, and the world came back into focus. He was sitting on the wooden deck, legs splayed, Caitlin half-kneeling in front of him.

“Sorry.” She eased back, and sat down next to him, cross-legged. “It always works in the movies, and you looked like you were about to go critical.”

“The Prof was telling the truth, ” Caitlin said. “Seems he’s only mad north by north-west. When the wind is southerly, he knows a rebel from a bounty hunter.”

“Think a horse crossed with a whale, and a temperamental one at that, ” the Professor piped up, at his elbow.

Feid looked down, and saw that the small man was grinning from ear to ear, eyes squinted almost shut, nose into the still air.

“Fine day, fine day. Too bad it wants to kill us.”

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“You’re one of them, aren’t you? From… up there. What are you doing here? Walking the dirt amongst the likes of us?”

The stranger frowned, and brought his arms around again to hug his chest, as if trying to stay warm, though the day was warm enough already. “Why do you say that?”

“Your eyes, ” the woodcutter said. “Like two bits of sky. Not like we have now, neither. The part of the sky that’s well beyond the clouds – where the dark creeps in, and the stars reach out.”

The stranger smiled, a weak, pale smile, but there seemed to be real amusement in it. “And they said there were no poets down here.”

The woodcutter grunted. “There ain’t. I won’t ask your name – and I won’t give you mine – but I’ll leave my axe by the wall there, so long as you don’t go blazing up again. I got work to do, and falling asleep ain’t on my agenda just now.”

The stranger nodded. “Fair enough.”

“Right then.” The woodcutter brushed his hands together, to loose the last of the sawdust from his palms. “Feel up to a cuppa tea?”

(10:40 p.m., 16, 748 words / Words written today: 3, 430)

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“Do excuse the rude people, ” the Professor crooned to the fish, holding it close enough that his beard whiskers brushed against its scales. “They are but cogs and pawns and the whistling wind, and know not what they do.” He kissed the fish’s snout – drawing a hiss of disgust from Jil and an exclamation of “Dude! That is just nasty!” from Troy – and purred, “There my lovely, wake and sing for us, there’s a good girl.”

Caitlin’s sight was temporarily obscured as both Feid and Troy threw themselves in front of her, arms held wide, feet planted as firmly as they could manage, given that the wooden planks were still vibrating, as if announcing an oncoming train. In the heat of the moment, Caitlin couldn’t decide whether to be amused, or profoundly annoyed.

“What if it comes from behind us?” she yelled, as another thunder-roll shook the walls.

What remained of the ceiling lay in pieces around them, slabs of drywall jutting at odd angles amidst clouds of settling white dust and broken roof timbers. The Professor sat in the middle of a pile of rubble with a stunned look on his face, still holding one delicate, intact teacup. It steamed faintly.

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Before she could fly down the steps, a vice closed on her arm, tight as a blood pressure cuff, but hot, and hard, and sharp, like metal pulled from the fire while it was still dreaming of becoming a knife.

“Oh, shut up, it’ll heal. In approximately…” Jil held up her own arm, which was completely devoid of a watch, “…now.”

“If we’re not really standing on a mountain in the snow, why are my feet cold?”

“You should know, you’re the psychology expert.”

“I’m only third year. We haven’t covered trans-dimensional astral travel yet.”

“Hunter, ” the Professor said, pointing to Jil, “…gatherer.” Pointing to each of them in turn. “She collects people. For a fee. Someone wants you. Oh, yes.” He grinned suddenly, a surprisingly bright, white, even smile. Odd – Caitlin would not have thought a badger would have such perfect teeth.

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