“We move to grow and learn to know / what the world was always supposed to hear”

“[We] don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.

“Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble.”

–Olympic Weightlifter Zoe Smith

Two other strong women at the Olympics this year:

Holley Mangold
Sarah Robles
(who, since this article was written, has indeed gotten a sponsorship)

Makes one want to take up weightlifting, it does.

“Cause I don’t wanna waste another moment / in saying things we never meant to say”

Dear Final Scene,

This should be easy. There’s nothing new to set up. All you need to do is bring this thing home. You know that, right?

So why, exactly, are you digging in your heels like a child throwing a tantrum and insisting on making every last paragraph feel like work?

It’s not like you’re a young chapter. You’re living out here beyond the climactic scenes, with the experience of an entire book behind you. You’ve been around the block a few times. You know what you’re doing.

With just a little cooperation we could wrap this thing up and both get some sleep.

What do you say?


Come chat!

ETA: Correction: This chat is at 9 EDT/6 PDT! Coulda sworn I double-checked, but there it is.

I’ll be joining a whole bunch of other writers for Eve Fan Garden’s annual summer author chat at 9 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. PDT (also 6 p.m. Arizona time) today. Participants include Holly Cupala, Elizabeth Eulberg, Jennifer R. Hubbard, Nina Malkin, Elana Johnson, Eileen Cook, Joelle Anthony, Lisa Magnum, Torrey Maldonado, Darby Karchut, Tom Leveen, Carol Tanzman, Kendare Blake, Jeyn Roberts, Sarah Darer Littman, and others.

If you’re online this evening, come join us!

“And though the darkness may come our way / We won’t be afraid to be alive anymore”

Patty Griffin’s No Bad News is on the playlist for one of the mixes that’s been getting high play for this book–though not on the specifically book-themed mix–and it’s become my latest go-to feel-good songs. (lnhammer has, of course, rightly been telling me I need to pay more attention to this song for some years now.)

You can’t have my fear
I’ve got nothing to lose
can’t have my fear
I’m not getting out of here alive anyway

Quote of the day

“Women who start out as ugly ducklings don’t become beautiful swans. What they mainly become is confident ducks. They take charge of their lives.”
–Maeve Binchy (via Annette Curtis Klause)

I love this, because the ugly duckling narrative feels more flawed to me the older I get. Longing for transformation doesn’t seem half so powerful as owning and loving and rocking what one already is.

I wonder if it’s common, a natural sort of progression, to start off dreaming of secretly being something else (a changeling, an alien foundling, the secret heir to the king and queen of a far off land), and then to come around to wanting to be more fully oneself.

A version of oneself, of course, who visits faerie realms, and alien planets, and other far-off lands. But nonetheless.

Tuesday afternoon linky, Star Wars edition

Now that you mention it, the idea of moisture farming is pretty suspect. Why did I never realize this?

XKCD’s new “what if?” feature looks at just how much force power Yoda can output. With numbers. Awesome.

Also from XKCD, what would happen if you gathered a mole of moles? Come on, you know you’ve always wondered.

Video of flood waters in the vicinity of this summer’s New Mexico wildfires.

Perfume that smells like a fresh-printed book. My amateur bookbinder reaction is, “But I already own a bottle of book glue.” (Via lnhammer.)

Olympic athletes versus wild animals. Though the races seem a bit rigged, if you ask me. I mean, if you put Michael Phelps up against the migratory birds, the results would be very different. Also, I count a gymnastics loss for the hummingbird there.

Another olympic-qualifying female athlete is given a hard time for not being rail-thin. Apparently we just can’t get our brains around the idea that “skinny” and “fit / healthy” are not absolute synonyms.

Writer Beware guest post in praise of ripening. Or, why publishing faster is not always better.

When Tolkien meets … well, just click. Again, why did I never realize?

Sometimes a story requires detailed explanations. Other times it requires the author at least know the detailed explanations. But still other times, you just need to play the story game well enough to say with conviction, “He’s the goddamned Batman, that’s how.” This is, of course, harder than it sounds. (From Swan Tower).

“And these mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again / If you’d only try turning around”

Ah, that part of the writing process where I look at the half dozen or so denoument-y scenes at the end of the draft and try to figure out how to compress them into a single winding down of action.

Complicated by the fact that this book actually does want a bit of “action after the action.” (ponder ponder ponder) (restructure restructure restructure) (cut cut cut)


Dear Secondary Character Who Has Changed Everything But Her Name and Attitude Since the First Draft,

To the very end, you refuse to be entirely kind or likable.

And in so doing, you make us like you.

Well played. Well played.



View earlier character conversations here.

Something old, something new, something bloggish, something blue

So if I’ve done everything right, this post should be crossposted from my shiny new wordpress blog to my comfy and well-loved livejournal blog, with comments enabled both places. (One day, if I can figure out how, I may sync comments between the blogs as well.)

My livejournal isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But there seems to be a pretty split mix of people preferring lj and non-lj platforms, so it was time to experiment with crossposting.

For people coming in from wordpress, all my blog posts before late July 2012 (like, almost a decade’s worth) can be found over at livejournal.

So hi! Good to see you, either place!