Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So it's been a week...

I have made many lovely jewelry things.

I have also acquired a job, which I have mixed feelings about. While it's an interesting store and I like my co-workers, the establishment sells both kinds of incense that I have an allergic reaction to (similar to the reaction I have to cigarette smoke.) They aren't burning the incense, but its boxed quantities are causing me to leave my demi-shift with a headache, burning eyes and an inability to breathe through my nose. I foresee this being a general problem, but haven't determined how to resolve it. Even going to work on an anti-histamine doesn't appear to prevent me the reaction.

Strong incense has always bothered me, but it appears after living in a scent-free home for over three years, it's gotten to the point that I can't be around boxes and boxes of it in an enclosed space for more than an hour at a time.

The short story I started the writing challenge to finish is finished, but the second I begun to meet the challenge requirements is not going so well. Either my head just isn't with it, or it's too with it and I'm placing an unreasonable amount of pressure on the writing. Varies between the former and the latter from day to day.

Revisions on the YA manuscript have been completed. There's a aspect of the manuscript I need to speak to Miriam about, as I've gotten a split response from the two readers, which means it's likely one of those things people either love or hate. She, however, is at RWA in San Francisco, which means I'm likely best to do up my short "treatments" (by using this word it's somehow easier to write them) of what I intend to do for the following books, and send it all to her next week.

Oh, Jocelynn Drake's debut Nightwalker hit the shelves yesterday. Congratulations, Jocelynn!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008



This is my dog, Nero. (Note he is on the chair that he is not supposed to be on, and this quick photo was taken when I caught him napping.) He has a plan to help me get in shape—each night he takes me for a walk. Unfortunately, he's in about as good of shape as I am, and ends up lagging behind. But I appreciate him helping me train for my upcoming trip to Kyoto. We've got until September 15th to prepare me for long walking days of catching trains and combing the Kansai and Kantou areas for photos and settings for future books.

Which will make a pleasant change from the internet combing I've done the past two days for research on local lore to complete the short story I had to start to meet—surpass more likely—the word goal for the writing challenge.

Friday, July 18, 2008

More information on the SS Writing Challenge

For those of you who see this blog before you get to LJ... (Suzanne, Liz, Rae.)

We've closed the sign-up for the Summer Shorts Writing Contest, and all those participating need to ensure that they comment with their progress tally on the Friday Check In entries on livejournal. We have a list of 20(!) official participants, who will be eligible for prizes.

Thanks to everyone who has thrown in their hat and/or spread the word!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So much love has found me today

If I appear to vanish until August sometime, it's because I'm on livejournal managing the Summer Shorts Writing Challenge—the response has been overwhelming, and we'll "officially" kick things off tomorrow.

I'm in that little lull of low wordage that occurs after I finish a draft (or redraft,) so the words have not been flowing as quickly. They trickle, but I've grown accustom to this ebb and flow. From the sounds of it, I'll be working somewhat fulltime for the month of August, which should bring some structure to the days again, as they've been getting away from me. Well, more like the days are a pack of small dogs and they keep jumping over each other and tangling up their leashes so they seem like one creature with many feet.

This is likely the reason I opted to download Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog from iTunes rather than watch it via the streaming feed, but the few minutes I did watch before deciding to just purchase it (and help Joss Whedon pay his crew) featured Neil Patrick Harris in a pair of stupendously evil goggles and a white smock. This is l-o-v-e.

Speaking of stupendous goggles, from That Girl, more love via Etsy and the Neverwas Haul. I am left wondering if Shiro should go Steampunk for book two.

And last, the labor of love...let me show you:



I call it We'll Always Have Paris. Black/gold firepolished beads, accented with "antique gold" metal mesh beads, gold wooden bead, and Eiffel tower charm. Heart and pin clasp. C'est amour, mon cher. Mais oui!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pink Rain



Last night it rained pink, delicate strands of cotton candy from a cloud colored magenta by the disappearing sun. These heavy, dripping clouds passed over the valley all evening. Steel grey in sunlight, like stewing resentment; a cloud so heavy, its weight could be felt pressing down.

How can a cloud so heavy still seem so far away in the mountains, when the faded blue bowl of the Los Angeles sky always seems to be knocking against one's head?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Announcing the Summer Shorts writing challenge!

See, I put writing so you don't think this is about whose legs look best. *ahem* Karen Mahoney and I are engaging in a short fiction writing challenge, and we're opening it up to anyone else who'd like to participate. My motivation comes from On Spec's next submission deadline being August 31st; Karen just wanted to write a short story.

The challenge: Write more than 5000 new words of short fiction before August 5th, 2008.

Oh, so easy, says you. We understand that anyone can write 5000 words in three weeks. The challenge is learning how to write "finished" short pieces instead of a beginning to a longer work.

As not every story need 5000 words to tell it, we have options available to make the challenge as easy and productive as you'd like it to be:

1) It is at your discretion how you use those 5000 required words. So if you want to write like ten 500 word flash fiction pieces, go ahead.

2) You may apply some or all of the 5000 words to completing existing short fiction projects, so long as individual finished pieces remain below 6000 words.

3) You must still write 5000 words. Therefore, if you only need 1500 to complete your project, you have to start another story to write the remaining 3500.

4) You are not required to finish every story you begin, but only completed stories count towards your total.

5) You may write stories set in existing worlds and using existing characters, so long as you are the created of that world and characters. For example, you may write a side-story adventure for a secondary character from your manuscript or a backstory happening that you wanted to write but didn't feel it "belonged" in the manuscript. The story, however, needs to be completed outside the context of your manuscript.

6) Aside from bragging rights, everyone who meets the challenge will be entered into a draw for prizes! The amount of prizes will depend on the amount of participants. Prizes may include tasty Purdy's Chocolates, amazon.com giftcards, critique services, handmade bookmarks, or something else awesome that we think of.

If you are feeling generous and would like to contribute a prize, please let us know.

Comment in the livejournal announcement if you are taking up the challenge, so we can track who's involved—and spread the word, so we can be overwhelmed by your awesome short fiction abilities and feel it necessary to make this a seasonal thing. ;)

Monday, July 14, 2008

69063

Which is likely a zip code—no, apparently it isn't. Ah. Well, it is the wordcount on the revised draft of the YA manuscript. Now to format and send this off to CP... just in time, as I am badly in need of a haircut.

The manuscript is still badly in need of a title.

But here's some belated inspiration. Belated, because although it's so perfect a visual match for something I was doing, but I didn't find it until after I finished. (Thanks to Katy for passing it along.)


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Tarot Cafe Novel

Now that I've received word the work-for-hire project was revealed at Anime Expo, I can officially announce what my editor, Jenna, and I have been working diligently on: The Tarot Cafe Novel! This light novel is a companion story to the seven volume manhwa (Korean comic) The Tarot Cafe by Sang-Sun Park, who will be providing the illustrations for the light novel.

You may sign up via Amazon.com for product information alerts. As far as I know, it will be released sometime in January 2009.

Jenna contacted me in September of last year after finding my blog (this blog.) After I provided an original writing sample and sample chapter/outline, TOKYOPOP made an offer. After I signed with Miriam, and she finished negotiating the contract terms, Jenna and I began working on a new story that we could tell within the amazingly rich and detailed mythology of Park's world.

Don't worry fans, Park approved the outline for the story and she also offered some insight into what thematic things she wanted the novel to contain. (All via a translator service since my Korean is non-existent.) Jenna is an amazing editor with a firm grasp on Park's world, and the light novel is so much better thanks to her.

I'm so excited to see Park's beautiful illustrations accompany the story, as she truly is such a talented artist with an ornate style. Not to mention, she's an amazing story-teller who can craft a complex, rich world. It was daunting at times to try and live up to the intricacies of her plotlines, but I think we have something that compliments the manhwa, and I'm really excited for January!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Floral Festivities and Lovely Lolitas

June 28, 2008
Kinokuniya Books, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

The theme of the second Gothic & Lolita Bible launch party was floral, and a flower-filled event it was. New faces and returns from the first launch party, as the lovely lolitas of Los Angeles (and surrounding areas) gathered for polite social discourse, pleasantly pink refreshments, and—of course—the floral dress competition.



The gracious winner. Her floral headdress may have given her the advantage. Look at those adorable shoes! Plus, her accents of purple made her stand out in the crowd. No one else had a paper parasol. How very summer.



The gothic lolita in the red under black dress is Miss Violeta. Her dress was stunning—every time I saw it, I found some new detail I'd overlooked. In the white with delicate blue flowers is her friend, who was another winner for the floral dress competition. Those stacked shoes appeared to be everywhere.



This is Miss Emily. She had some darling boots that she let us know had originally been purchased for a steampunk outfit, but they worked beautifully with this ensemble, too. I was unfamiliar with this bustle style, that allowed so much of the petticoat to show. It creates a great visual detail so a lolita can turn heads coming and going.



Emily has one of the highly coveted violin case handbags from Baby The Stars Shine Bright, and out little group couldn't stop talking about it. May I just say those "steampunk" boats also work great with a pair of Coach sunglasses? Don't think just because a girl dresses lolita means she can't add in a dash of mainstream style to create a personal flavor.



Speaking of steampunk... we happened upon this gentleman decked out in his finest. He was kind enough to allow us to take a picture. I'm told there is a steampunk scene in Los Angeles, but I couldn't tell you where to find it. Alas, no cybergoths for a compare and contrast shot. I do love techno-goggles and UV-friendly looks, but the Victorian elegance of steampunk is something I adore in both fashion and literature.



These two lolitas keep out of the sun with their lacy white parasols, proving that the accessory functions during rain and shine as a must have. I believe the black dress resembles a pattern from Sweet Rococo, but I, unfortunately, neglected to ask if it was one of their custom designs.



It seemed this launch featured some of the best hair. Aside from the winning girl's elaborate floral headdress, there were two other fantastic styles. This first one is a bit of a punk lolita look: Dreaded pigtails. They were super funky, and really added an edge to her outfit (echoed in the belt and footwear.) Complimentary sweet and tough gave this look a lot of visual interest.



The amazing multicolored floral look of this do stopped me in my tracks. The simple teal bubble dress with the pearl necklace allowed her hair to be the show-stopper, without competing for attention. Plus the great floral accents were perfect in keeping with the event's theme.



All around, another fun lolita event! This time there was more socializing and less bingo, but TOKYOPOP and Kinokuniya were model hosts. Our little group of appreciators had a delightful time, and it looked like the participants did, as well.

I hear rumors the next launch party will be San Francisco in September. I hope the Bay Area lolitas come out and show their styles—even though I'll have to be content with seeing them in the pages of a future Bible.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Then there was draft.

71654.

I realize the number means little to you, but it represents the completion of the young adult manuscript that desperately wanted to be written, but couldn't decide what it wanted to be. This incarnation, aka the draft I was determined to make stick, started around February 19th. About four and a half months later, I get to write THE END.

Now, joy of joys, I have to find it a title.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

delete

Happy Canada Day!


I wish we were celebrating together over lattes, but we'll have the chance soon enough.

Watch the fireworks tonight for me.