felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Writing

So I got back my novel, and the response was...confusing. I got not one but two letters from two different editors. One was an encouraging, the same a before. She was encouraging, but had problems with it still - some I agreed with, some I didn't - and didn't think my style was mature enough yet. She also thought it wasssThe other was a standard rejection letter.

Neither wanted to see it again. But I feel like I've been written two dissenting opinions by a supreme court.

So now begins the great re-edit. I already have my next publishing house picked out, and I've begun my outline. I'll save the heavy work on it for after I finish novel number three, which is a lot of fun and a nice break from heavier work of the main novel.

Nope. Not getting discouraged. I won't let myself. Not until I've been rejected by as many houses as rejected Harry Potter :)

Politics

So it was a huge day for human rights in Canada yesterday - the biggest hurdle in the fight for adding trans folk to the Canadian Human Rights act. Now, it hasn't passed yet. There are still hurdles - our evil leader could still find a Machiavellian means to kill the bill, as he did with our big climate change bill. Our democratic mechanisms are rusting closed in this country.

Still, it's made it this far. Props for that go to politicians Bill Siksay, Megan Leslie, and Olivia Chow from my party the NDP. But outside the House of Commons, the one person most responsible for this bill's passage is my dear friend and roommate, [profile] montrealais. He's been a one-activist army, talking to the media, organising actions, setting up a website, writing letters, and getting others to do the same.

If it goes through, now, its effect is limited - protection from discrimination in government agencies (including the military), in airports, in federal housing, and in banks. Next step is the provincial battles, and a Charter challenge court case for the rest. While its scope is limited, though, it's the first time the Canadian government has stated that trans folk are equal citizens. That's worth celebrating.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Those who follow me on Facebook know already - the deed is done. Today I sent my novel out again to the editor who liked the premise when I sent it out the first time. I have been revising it for one year and two weeks.

Tomorrow I begin the outline of a (third) second novel. I figure it's good to several on the go. Today I'm vegging in Vana'diel - though I did more than my quota this morning, so I don't feel guilty.

I miss seeing friends, though.

What else? I just finished a scary exposé on the religious right in Canada - The Armageddon Factor by Marci McDonald. I thought I was prepared for it, but I hadn't realised how far they'd gone in taking over our judiciary, in founding a parallel education system so their kids won't be infected by Canadian values like tolerance, and are re-writing the history books so that Canada was always an evangelical nation betrayed by secularism.

And we've always been at war with Oceania. It sounds like conspiracy theory, but her credentials are solid and her sources are sound. And I've seen enough close up that I can believe what I haven't seen.

So I'm a bit more melancholy than I would normally would be on a day when I've gotten one large step closer to achieving my dream.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Sorry for the late lack of communication. I have been immersed in preparing to send my novel out. It looks like I will be sending it out as planned on Tuesday.

There's an astonishing amount of paperwork involved in sending out a novel, none of which I'm good at. A CV of my history as a writer. A biography. A synopsis. A cover letter. A marketing analysis. All documents double-spaced, five-pace indented, titles one-third of the way down the page. All of it to be written out anew even though I'm re-sending a novel to the same publisher, because the information is old, because the editor who liked my work might not be there, and because it looks like phoning it in to re-send the same stuff.

I finished all but the synopsis and about 50% of my edit today, and am now chilling in Vana'diel. I figure I'll be finished tomorrow, but I'd prefer to give myself the extra day anyway to check over everything with fresh eyes.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Pardoner)
Well, after a six-month hiatus, I have finally updated my historical blog. In my defence, I had to research the history of golf in Canada for background. It was painful.

(It will surprise no one that lesbians have been golfing since the 19th century at least, I'm sure. One day they'll unearth a whole other cave-painting complex at Lascaux that's nothing but portraits of lesbian golfers.)

One nice detail is that my website was quoted and referenced in a print book: How To Make Love in a Canoe: Sex in Canada. I've been in contact with the author Jeff Pearce, so I knew it was probably coming, but I got my advance copy the other day. He used my theory that James Barry could have been trans, as well as my reviews of the really bad lit around Barry.

It's only a page and a half, but I was pretty stoked. Along with the attention from mainstream historians and the praising e-mails, it does make me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile with my life :)

Other that that, I'm doing a minimum of thirteen pages a day of editing on the novel. It feels ready, and I'm proud of that, too.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So for anyone who's wondering what's been going on with me outside of the book reviews, it's been mostly dull punctuated with occasional fun social events - a couple of great birthdays, a late-night movie viewing, Pride, a trip out west.

Last night was [profile] jenjoou's birthday party. Which is always a wonderful event - not just because she is a wonderful hostess and has a beautiful apartment, but also because all her guests are geeks. It is so nice to go to a party and not have to pretend to be conventional, which is what we geeks wind up doing at most birthday parties.

(Then I have to remember what Montreal's sports teams are called, and that's never pretty.)

Other than that, it's been mostly work, cleaning, and heavy novel-editing - I think I tipped the balance toward 30 hours this week on the novel. I finished the mostly gruelling chunk of editing about fifteen minutes ago. Now it's just light edits through September, and sending it out in October.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So for anyone who's wondering what's been going on with me outside of the book reviews, it's been mostly dull punctuated with occasional fun social events - a couple of great birthdays, a late-night movie viewing, Pride, a trip out west.

Last night was [livejournal.com profile] jenjoou's birthday party. Which is always a wonderful event - not just because she is a wonderful hostess and has a beautiful apartment, but also because all her guests are geeks. It is so nice to go to a party and not have to pretend to be conventional, which is what we geeks wind up doing at most birthday parties.

(Then I have to remember what Montreal's sports teams are called, and that's never pretty.)

Other than that, it's been mostly work, cleaning, and heavy novel-editing - I think I tipped the balance toward 30 hours this week on the novel. I finished the mostly gruelling chunk of editing about fifteen minutes ago. Now it's just light edits through September, and sending it out in October.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Just thought I'd stop in to wish a happy Lughnassadh/Lammas to those who celebrate it - and a happy August to those who don't.

[livejournal.com profile] em_fish and I had a lovely afternoon chez [livejournal.com profile] jenjoou today. Other than that, it's been a quiet day of writing (twice my daily quota), and cleaning the apartment (mostly) top to bottom.

I'm not looking forward to another week of lots of overtime this week, though :/
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So, yeah. It's been a quiet birthday. I worked all day, so I'm pretty tired. I might go out to a cafe later and get some writing done, but that'll be it.

The party is next week.

Normally I don't mind working weekends, though this time it could've fallen on a better weekend. I have the office to myself, usually. I keep the ancient fluorescents off and work by natural light. And I get to choose my own soundtrack (The Hidden Cameras and Rufus, today). I find data entry meditative.

So yeah. Otherwise, I'm about three-fourths through my outline in preparation for my eighth (and hopefully final) re-write of the novel. I'll be started on that before June. Sending in my novel this years means that the birthday is free overall of existential angst. It actually feels like I'm doing something with my life, for once.

And the next version is going to get published.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Today is April 27, and it is snowing outside my window. Sadly, it's not going to last until Saturday, which is a pity. A white Beltane would be lovely.

I'm not going to be able to have my birthday on the actual day of it - I work that weekend, and can't get out of it. So I was thinking one week later, Saturday the 15th, and was wondering how that worked for my friends in town...?

I've been doing a fair bit of writing lately. I did a first outline of my novel re-write on paper, and now I'm doing a second, more detailed one. I'm more creative on paper.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I started to wonder if I should send back a letter of thank you to the publisher. If it had been a straight-up rejection letter, I wouldn't have. But the fact that they included comments and asked me to re-submit it once revised, so I'm wondering if I should send a letter of thanks.

I'm lost when it comes to the etiquette of these things.

I've been working on an outline all week. I really need outlines, because otherwise I tend to lose the thread of what I'm trying to say. A lot of the criticism came down to the lack of focus, and it's true - day in and day out of writing, I tend to lose the thread of one idea and go down random paths. I'm doing a preliminary outline, and then a more structured one in a short time. That should keep me on topic.

In the meantime, Final Fantasy XIII is keeping the writer's block at bay. It's an excellent game overall, but even if it weren't, it would be impossible to hate a video game where you can make magical spears, boomerangs, fishing poles, and weaponized jacket decals more magical by slathering them in alien mucous, attaching fossilized bones, and stuffing the whole mess into a hand-held, one-use, disposable particle generator set, apparently, to "fricasee."

I'm not sure the weapons are so much "magical" as they are "radioactive."
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Happy belated Ostara to everyone who celebrates it.

It's been a quiet couple of weeks - writing mostly. My big disappointment was that the CBC literary Awards made their decisions, and I wasn't even on the rather large shortlist. I figured that would be the case with my short story, which wasn't very good. But I really thought my poetry was good enough this year.

(I still haven't heard back for my novel.)

I've been reading The Malleus Maleficarum, mostly as research for a fantasy novel I'm working on. It was the main how-to manual for witch hunters in the Middles Ages. And it is strange. So much of it is about sex - how incubi impregnate women, how witches cause impotence. There's also lots of medieval reasoning, lots of medieval science.

(I love medieval science. Did you know the reason that comets foretell the deaths of important people is that they cause them? Turns out that comets are of a hot, dry nature, and the rich and powerful are fed hot, dry foods. Comets passing over cause the already unbalanced yellow bile to turn critical, resulting in death. the more you know!)

Other than that, I've been playing Final Fantasy XIII. Brilliant so far, except for having Anne of Green Gables in my party. Well, specifically, Anne of Green Gables, Destroyer-of-Worlds. All the other characters are great.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So we had a quiet, little party today. We played Gloom and talked, to celebrate the completion of my novel.

For the record, I'm already sixteen pages into another novel, first draft. It's going to be a lot funnier. I'm having a lot of fun writing it.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I've got a confession to make - I put the novel through one more edit, and then the first fifty pages through yet another one.

I call this a confession because I'm pretty sure most of my friends have given up on my ever sending this thing for publication. And I had declared it finished.

However, I feel fairly safe making this admission today, because I sent it out to Arsenal Pulp Press - the largest publisher of LGBT fiction in Canada - for publication about an hour ago.

That makes it real, though it hasn't quite hit me yet.

Arsenal Pulp Press says they sometimes take as long as six months to get back, though they always get back. In the meantime, I've had a lot of other novel ideas in the queue - six to be precise - and I want to get them on paper before they're lost. So I'm going to set myself six consecutive NaNoWriMos, starting in December. I start the planning tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I want to celebrate. Anyone up for a café or restaurant this weekend...?
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
We're looking for an English teacher willing to trek out to a distant town called Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu - "Saint John on Richelieu." So far no takers.

I've been on the internet too long. My first thought was, That's a crack slash pairing if I've heard one.

After all, everyone knows Saint John was an uke.

I've recovering from the mad rush to send out stuff for the CBC literary awards. I'm behind schedule for sending out my novel - I've prepared half the required materials already and reformatted my manuscript.

Tonight I'm finally going to tackle that "marketing analysis" thing this publishing house wants.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Yesterday I ran into Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada. I recognized him immediately - not just his face but that distinctive baritone of his.

Not that that's surprising. Mulroney calls Montreal home, and the business district where I work is the water that fish swims in. He was getting his shoes shined in the Place Ville-Marie, which is a very Mulroney thing to have been doing.

But it's a strange thing to see a man you've hated since you were twelve, but never met up close.

A bit long, so I'll cut to save friends' pages )

Anyway, the whole reason I was at the Place Ville-Marie was to mail off my short story in poetry. I feel a lot more confident about the poetry than the short story.

I had no time this month, thanks to all the overtime - the third October in a row where the universe conspired against my preparing anything for the awards.

But now I can go back to preparing my novel to send out.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I really have to send off my short story and poetry on Wednesday - Thursday at the latest - for the CBC literary awards. The short story needs a lot of work especially, though the poetry's almost ready to go.

And I'm still working on all the material that has to accompany my novel to the publisher.

So naturally my brain shuts off tonight, and I'm internet-surfing. And not even useful, good stuff like answering e-mail, or reading well-thought-out blogs and articles.

Tonight's interesting fact: the makers of the Silent Hill horror franchise are not only returning to psychological horror, they claim their new game builds a psychological profile of you and adjusts the story and characters accordingly, presumably for maximum horror.

(Frightening and not-worksafe trailer here.)

I'll believe it when I see it. But if they do pull it off, it'll be the scariest in the series, if for no other reason than that it'll mean something as low-tech as the PS2 can understand a human being and react accordingly. This is Turing test material right here.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
First off, Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] montrealais. I'll be at work all day and so I might not see you. I hope it's a good one ^_^

The weather's been really nice lately, at least for me. I'm sure I'll hate it when it gets really cold. But for now the leaves have turned, and it's been raining. I love how the city looks in the rain. And lately I've been going to work at dawn, so when it is sunny I get all the dawn colours.

This morning, there was a cacophony of dozens of birds of different types, singing in the same tree. It was louder than any of the other city sounds in morning. If that's how they mark territory, it must have been an avian World War I.

So yeah. Almost all my waking hours are work and writing now, though I've still had a chance to read The Iliad in bits and pieces, going to and from work. I can't believe it's taken me so long to start this wonderful book.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
At long last, I have the first of my sections on early gay poets on my blog. This is the first of a few articles, and deals with two poets who might have been gay. There won't be any might in the next article, which'll deal with Elsa Gidlow.

Wow, I'm a real post-bunny this week. Three posts in three days. I'm still not on speaking terms with FaceBook, however.

I'm learning a lot about formating cover letters and manuscripts - I bought a book on the subject put out by editors and publishers on what they want to see and not see. A lot of the information seems slanted toward working through an agent and houses that only accept solicited manuscripts, but I think it's adaptable.

But my chosen publishing house also wants a "marketing analysis," presumably how to sell it. None of my references are any help. I might just ask the salespeople at work.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Breaking radio silence again here. I've been completely wiped out lately, because all the extra work hours - I did eight days out of nine, ending Friday, and collapsing asleep most nights. The last two days I was scarcely online.

I did visit [livejournal.com profile] jenjoou, but mostly I've been in bed sleeping, working on a draft for the CBC Literary Awards, and occasionally playing The Sims 2 for PS2. I beat that game.

(I can understand the appeal of the game - it strikes just the right balance between realism and wish fulfilment. Beautiful people you can dress like dolls, in beautiful houses you can renovate for cheap so long as they are not actually on fire.

I also like how the grim reaper can be bribed - he gets really excited over receiving $100 earth dollars* - as a system for getting your Sims back to life. But it's also depressing how quickly your friends forget you in that game. I mean, a few days away, and they forget who you are.)

Today, I'm going to finish a draft for my short story for the awards. Then I'm going to pull out my usable poetry and see what I can refurbish for the said contest. I'm determined to enter two categories this year. If nothing else, it'll increase my chances.

*Bonus internet points for those who get the reference
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So, yeah. I finished the novel about an hour ago. Not as in, pending another edit. Done done.

I'm reading up on general advice for submission. I'm going to keep studying up on it for another week or so. I've already selected a publisher for my first attempt, and gotten their submission guidelines.

That's the reason for my near-total radio silence this last little while on LJ, and the total deadness of my Facebook account. Well that, and all the overtime. I've worked six of the last seven days, and I've been bringing my laptop into work to keep up with the editing.

It's a little scary. But mostly I'm too busy to think much about it. I'll be full and more-than-full-time at work for the foreseeable future, I have a short story and poems to prepare for the CBC literary contest. Somewhere in there I'd like to sleep, too.

I hope everyone's doing well. I'm getting slowly caught up on friends' pages, I promise.

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