The ravens would just like you to know …

… that they’ve really had enough of hearing about That Poem.

Not that it’s a bad poem, all things considered. But more than 150 years after publication, and humans still can’t resist reminding them of it at every opportunity. All their raven-y intellectual accomplishments, all their opinionated trouble-making trickster-inspired awesomeness, and all humans have to offer them in response is a single word.

“Nevermore.”

Really, I think the ravens must be tired of hearing about That Poem.

For ravenbook updates

Many thanks to all of you who’ve been with me so far on the ravenbook/Nevermore journey! Your enthusiasm has meant a lot to me (and also been a lot of fun for me) as I’ve argued with my characters, shared snippets on facebook and twitter, and generally found my way through this book.

I’ll continue posting updates here now that Nevermore is off to my agent, but probably not as often as in that last rush of finishing the last draft. If you want to make sure you don’t miss them in the general noise of the Internet being, well, the Internet, drop me an email at janni@simner.com or comment on this post with your address, and I’ll send you ravenbook news directly as I have it.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to some writing play in November, to digging in more deeply on new projects in December, and to re-releasing one of my older titles in the next few days. (Hint: It’s the last book I published before Bones of Faerie.)

And hey, if you’re going to be at TusCon this November, come to my reading Friday night (November 8) at 9 p.m., where I’ll be reading aloud from Nevermore for the very first time! (TusCon is held at the Hotel City Center in Tucson; details here.)

This is me being brave

I’m phobic about heights. Specifically, heights with steep surfaces and/or drops to both sides. (One could argue what I’m really scared of is not heights, but falling.)

So walking out under this arch, with drops to both sides and nothing remotely resembling a safe direction in which to fall, took a bit of courage for me.

Arches National Park

In other news that may or may not be related, I sent the raven book, with the shiny new working title Nevermore, off to my agent this week.

Onwards!

A tent, a trail, and a book

Back from a week of hiking, camping, and reading in southern Utah. (Specifically, at Arches National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and the banks of the upper Colorado River.)

There is something in me that needs wild places–places where I can just be–to remember who I am.

Pictures later, maybe. For now, I’m ready to return to the final note-addressing/read-aloud pass through the raven book, now with the working title Nevermore.

The thing–a thing–about stepping away is, the work feels lighter and more joyful when we return to it, after the time away.

Though with all the ravens that accompanied our travels, perhaps I was never fully away. Ravens love cliff country, and they never seem as joyful to me as they do when they’re flying them.

If you leave your assigned universes one more time I’m turning this car around

Dear Short Story Protagonist,

This story does not have enough space or scope for you to have a best friend.

I’m sorry! I really am. I should have seen it sooner, but, well, that’s what happens when I get distracted and don’t write short fiction for a while.

The next short story protagonist will have an easier time of it. I’m pretty sure.

Me

P.S. No, no time for that leisurely horseback ride either. But hey! Endangered animal life is a space-efficient world-building tool, so win-win, right?


Dear Secondary Almost-Finished Novel Character,

The way you’re standing there, tapping your foot and flapping your wings impatiently as you glare at said protagonist?

Not Helping.

Me

P.S. But hey! Endangered animal life. So it’s not like you can go over there and do anything about it.

“What’s a stone / what’s a flame / there’s always someone else to blame”

Dear Ever-Evolving Secondary Character,

You cry. A lot.

Yes, I know that if I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t stop at crying, but would be a quivering mass of uselessness.

I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

Me


Dear Moon,

You cannot shine after you’ve set. I’m sure we’ve discussed this before.

Me


Dear Owls Both Shapeshifting and Otherwise,

I’ve given you three chances now to be in this story. Twice I’ve had to cut you out again, and the third time–well.

I don’t think this is working out.

It’s not you, it’s me. I’m pretty sure.

Me


Header lyrics from Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Iceland.”