gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I have finished and sent off the revisions to Can't Find My Way Home (AKA the Jo book). This is the fourth draft. It's 360 pages, 101K words.

Whew.

In other news, it is broiling in Los Angeles, which is normal (though annoying) for early September. Yesterday I finally watched Only Lovers Left Alive and absolutely loved it.

Here is the audio for the Life of Mary Shelley panel I participated in with Theodora Goss and James Morrow at Readercon.

Now I will eat arugula pizza and watch Planet of the Apes movies on TCM to celebrate novel draft completion.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Though I hate getting up early during the weekend (or any day, really), I got up early this morning and drove to the salon, where I got a beautiful haircut. (I really should've had my hair cut a month or two ago, before the hot weather set in.) Now I'm home and hennaing my hair, a much easier process now that there's so much less hair to deal with.

I am longing for autumn, though we don't usually get it here until around Halloween. Meanwhile, I am Honestly Very Close To Finishing this draft of the Jo Book.

I enjoyed the new Doctor Who episode, especially... )
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, at the tail end of an annoyingly unseasonable heat wave. Yesterday I went to Skylight Books for California Bookstore Day. Then I headed to Legacy Comics in Glendale for Free Comic Book Day, but there was a line out the door and down the block, and it was broiling out, so I threw in the towel and drove back home. I'm glad so many people showed up for the events, though.

A week ago I managed to crack a tooth on a blueberry pancake. (To be fair, if it hadn't been the pancakes, it probably would've been the next thing I ate.) I've finally more or less adjusted to the ill-fitting (both too short and too wide) temporary cap on my tooth. Hopefully it will stay put until I get the permanent cap in a week and a half.

In other weird health news, apparently they're having cases of mumps in Madison, so I got a blood test for mumps immunity. Depending on the results, I may get a booster shot this week. In happier pre-Wiscon news, I've been rereading The Female Man for a panel. It's been over twenty years since I'd read it, and possibly I just wasn't ready for it the first time, because I'm enjoying it vastly more this time around.

I am getting quite close to the end of the Jo book revisions. Yay!
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
What did you just finish reading?
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. A beautiful, devastating page-turner.

What are you reading now?
Sofia Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria. Loving it.

Still reading Queers Dig Time Lords.

Rereading Tam Lin by Pamela Dean (for Readercon).

Also doing some research rereading (in Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity by Dan Berger) for the Jo book, now that I am (happily) in Jo book revision mode.

What will you read next?
I'm looking forward to reading more of what I bought at Wiscon, especially Wiscon Chronicles 7: Shattering Ableist Narratives.

done!

Dec. 2nd, 2012 05:33 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It took me a full week to listen to the spoken text file and make more changes, but now the draft of the Jo book, otherwise known as Can't Find My Way Home, is done. Whew.

(If you have a MOG account, you can listen to a Jo book playlist here.)

It's been a rainy weekend in LA. Now I will heat up leftover Thai food and watch tonight's Dexter and Homeland.

done-ish

Nov. 25th, 2012 03:46 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
The draft of the Jo book (actual title: Can't Find My Way Home) is done-ish. Which is to say, it's done, but I still need to listen to the spoken text file this week to be sure.

Word count: 89,122

Page count: 320

Yaaaaaay!!!

Also, yesterday I went to Skylight Books for Small Business Saturday (bought The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson and a Moleskine notebook), and one of my favorite soap opera actors, Matthew Ashford, was there. He was engrossed in a book, so I refrained from going up to him and blathering about how Days of Our Lives shouldn't have killed off his character.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Yesterday I got a beautiful haircut, and today is Henna Day on a cool autumn L.A. afternoon. Later I will work on the Jo book. It is very close to done, but I still need to make some tricky fixes on one early chapter, and a few other tweaks elsewhere. Shouldn't be long now (I hope).

I'm only working at the office two days this week, but I know they will probably feel LONG.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day on a vaguely autumnal day in Los Angeles (it's not broiling, anyway), and the wet henna is on my head. I'm still working on the finishing touches to this draft of the Jo book, but It Shouldn't Be Long Now. I hope.

George McGovern has died at age ninety. I remember watching Nixon's resignation speech on TV with my parents, then going outside and conferring with the neighborhood kids, all of whom said: "MY parents voted for McGovern!" (I also remember bumper stickers that said "Don't Blame Me--I Voted for McGovern.")

It is the anniversary of the publication of Harriet the Spy (link from Elizabeth Bear). Yay Harriet!
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

What is the title of your book?

For a long time the working title has been Some Misplaced Joan of Arc, but now I'm leaning towards Can't Find My Way Home.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I first started thinking of the book way back in 2006 or so...but the germ of the book was the protagonist, Jo Bergman, a young actress who feels like she irrevocably failed her best friend.

What genre does your book fall under?

Literary fantasy, I guess? It's mostly set in 1970s New York City, but there's a ghost and alternate realities.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I can't really come up with any current actors, but in the novel itself, Jo thinks that Martin looks like John Cassavetes and that Cyn looks like Mia Farrow and Bibbi Andersson. Martin thinks Jo looks like Liv Ullmann.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

In mid-1970s New York, soap opera actress Joanna Bergman is haunted by the ghost of Cynthia Foster, her best friend who blew herself up protesting the Vietnam War.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will be sending the book to my agent (in the next few weeks, I hope!).

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The first draft only took about three months to write. But it bears little resemblance to the book that I'm finishing up now. It has taken me a long time (and a lot of revision) to figure out how to tell this story.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

Well, these aren't in my genre, but Marge Piercy's novels: Vida (for its portrait of a female radical), Small Changes and Braided Lives (for their portrayals of intense, contentious female friendships). In my genre? Maybe Elizabeth Hand's Illyria (though it was technically marketed as YA), which is also set in 1970s New York, and which deals with teenagers involved with the theater.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Two obsessions: 1970s soap operas (especially those produced in New York) and 1960s-70s radical politics. I've always been fascinated by that strange cultural/political moment in the 1970s when Patty Hearst was kidnapped and, some months later, the SLA shootout in Los Angeles was shown live on afternoon TV. (I watched it, though I was nine years old and had no idea what was going on.)

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

A bisexual main character. Political fugitives robbing banks. Actors behaving badly. A love story / love-hate relationship / power struggle between two women, one of whom is (sometimes) a ghost.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.


[personal profile] cafenowhere tagged me. Now I'm tagging [personal profile] skogkatt, [profile] samhenderson, [profile] laurawise and [personal profile] herself_nyc. Please talk about any creative project you're working on, be it short story, poem, novel, novella, anthology, collection--anything.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

What is the title of your book?

For a long time the working title has been Some Misplaced Joan of Arc, but now I'm leaning towards Can't Find My Way Home.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I first started thinking of the book way back in 2006 or so...but the germ of the book was the protagonist, Jo Bergman, a young actress who feels like she irrevocably failed her best friend.

What genre does your book fall under?

Literary fantasy, I guess? It's mostly set in 1970s New York City, but there's a ghost and alternate realities.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I can't really come up with any current actors, but in the novel itself, Jo thinks that Martin looks like John Cassavetes and that Cyn looks like Mia Farrow and Bibbi Andersson. Martin thinks Jo looks like Liv Ullmann.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

In mid-1970s New York, soap opera actress Joanna Bergman is haunted by the ghost of Cynthia Foster, her best friend who blew herself up protesting the Vietnam War.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will be sending the book to my agent (in the next few weeks, I hope!).

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The first draft only took about three months to write. But it bears little resemblance to the book that I'm finishing up now. It has taken me a long time (and a lot of revision) to figure out how to tell this story.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

Well, these aren't in my genre, but Marge Piercy's novels: Vida (for its portrait of a female radical), Small Changes and Braided Lives (for their portrayals of intense, contentious female friendships). In my genre? Maybe Elizabeth Hand's Illyria (though it was technically marketed as YA), which is also set in 1970s New York, and which deals with teenagers involved with the theater.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Two obsessions: 1970s soap operas (especially those produced in New York) and 1960s-70s radical politics. I've always been fascinated by that strange cultural/political moment in the 1970s when Patty Hearst was kidnapped and, some months later, the SLA shootout in Los Angeles was shown live on afternoon TV. (I watched it, though I was nine years old and had no idea what was going on.)

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

A bisexual main character. Political fugitives robbing banks. Actors behaving badly. A love story / love-hate relationship / power struggle between two women, one of whom is (sometimes) a ghost.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.


[livejournal.com profile] cafenowhere tagged me. Now I'm tagging [livejournal.com profile] skogkatt, [livejournal.com profile] samhenderson, [livejournal.com profile] laurawise and [livejournal.com profile] herself_nyc. Please talk about any creative project you're working on, be it short story, poem, novel, novella, anthology, collection--anything.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, which is a good thing, because it's another hot day in LA and the henna feels cool on my head. Autumn is my favorite season, but it usually takes Los Angeles awhile to get the memo, weather-wise. Sometimes it stays hot here until nearly Halloween, though it's supposed to cool off a bit this week. I've been buying pumpkin products at Trader Joe's (pumpkin butter, pumpkin soup), but I won't really feel like eating them until the daytime high dips below 80.

I finally finished reading Code Name Verity. I liked it a lot, though it had some pacing/structural issues. This turned out to be a feature rather than a bug, as I'd suspected, but for me it made the book more enjoyable in retrospect than while actually reading much of it.

Last night's Doctor Who was my favorite of the season so far.

Meanwhile I'm still revising the Jo book. Much of the revision consists of fairly minor tweaks, but one chapter requires new scenes and research, so I'm trying not to bog down on that. Hoping to finish the revisions in the next few weeks.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
The weather has finally cooled down to normal late-summer temps today after two days of record-breaking hellish heat. On Friday afternoon there was a brush fire near my workplace, so they did a voluntary evacuation...just in time for rush hour. It took me two and a half hours to get home. Fortunately there were no injuries or property damage from the fire.

Today I celebrated the lack of hellishness by driving to Skylight Books, where I bought the new Junot Diaz book and a couple of little purple Moleskines, and talked myself out of buying numerous other books.

I've been working on the Jo book revisions, which I hope to be able to complete fairly soon. Most of what needs work is in the early chapters. I've started reading Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece. I'm still reading Code Name Verity, though I'm not as entranced by it as a lot of people seem to be. I can't wait to get started on Gwenda Bond's Blackwood (which I heard her read from at Worldcon) and Seanan McGuire's Ashes of Honor.

Los Angeles tends not to get proper fall weather until nearly Halloween, but I'd be thrilled if it started early this year.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I have finished chapter 27 of the Jo book! ::pumps fist in the air::

Word count: 85,876

Page count: 303

Which is not to say the book is DONE. I have sent the last three chapters to my beta reader, and now I need to go back and make some changes to the earlier chapters based on critiques. But they're not massive changes.

Yay book!!!

ETA: Forgot to mention that I also started writing a new short story today...
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I'm mostly packed for Worldcon. I wish I was feeling better. (The hot weather we've been having may be responsible for my having a few not-so-good days following a fairly comfortable week.) I haven't been to Chicago since I was a kid.

***

I've nearly reached the end of this draft of the Jo book.

Word count: 81,767

Page count: 288

One chapter to go (and that's nearly done). I had thought about finishing before Worldcon, but I have pre-travel brain. I'm almost there, though...
gwynnega: (Default)
It is Henna Day (a day early, because I'm going to a party tomorrow). I have various pre-travel tasks to take care of this weekend.

This draft of the Jo book is so close to done...but not quite yet.

Meanwhile, yesterday's General Hospital was hilariously meta. Jerry Jacks (played to perfection by Sebastian Roche) took over a Port Charles cable station in order to announce his nefarious plans...and, in the process, preempted The Chew (!) and said (at 3:25) "I'm sure many of you out there are wondering...where's my soap opera?"

gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I finished chapter 24 and added it to the Jo book.

Word count: 76,206

Page count: 268

Three chapters to go (counting chapter 25, which is close to done).

***

Also, the table of contents for the upcoming issue of Mythic Delirium has been announced, and it includes poetry by me, [personal profile] sovay, [profile] rose_lemberg, [personal profile] shadesong, Theodora Goss, [personal profile] rachel_swirsky, [profile] alankria, and many more.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I finished chapter 24 and added it to the Jo book.

Word count: 76,206

Page count: 268

Three chapters to go (counting chapter 25, which is close to done).

***

Also, the table of contents for the upcoming issue of Mythic Delirium has been announced, and it includes poetry by me, [livejournal.com profile] sovay, [livejournal.com profile] rose_lemberg, [livejournal.com profile] shadesong, Theodora Goss, [livejournal.com profile] rachel_swirsky, [livejournal.com profile] alankria, and many more.

that meme

Jun. 8th, 2012 12:34 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
...via everyone.

1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines--sentences or paragraphs--and post them as they're written. No cheating.


So, a bit from page 77 of the Jo book:

They showed footage of the draft board. They must have cleaned up Cyn's blood before they let the cameras roll. The bomb had blown out the windows of the draft board and several other buildings on the block. The Chinese laundry. The bakery! It hadn't occurred to me that other buildings could be affected. Had the others known that was a possibility?
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Made some finishing touches to chapter 23 and added it to the Jo book. (Chapter 24 is getting close to done.)

Word count: 71,582

Page count: 251

Getting there!!
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Tomorrow morning I'm off to WisCon. My schedule (fairly light) is here. Looking forward to seeing lots of you there. Not looking forward to my Travel Day. (I doubt that's what George Harrison meant when he wrote "arrive without traveling," but I wish that's what I could do!)

I had hoped to have this draft of the Jo book done by WisCon, and it's not, but it's getting there. By Readercon, perhaps?

I'm about 95% packed. Ugh, I hate traveling. But yay WisCon!

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