marthawells: (Teyla)
Some of you who kept up with my Ile-Rien books might remember that there was supposed to be a fourth Giliead and Ilias story, called "Rites of Passage," set after "Holy Places" (which appeared in Black Gate #11 in 2007, and was reprinted in Lightspeed's November ebook issue last year). These were all prequel stories to the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy. Black Gate acquired "Rites of Passage" but then had to stop doing the print magazine, and long story short, I haven't been able to find another place for it. It's a novelette-length fantasy story, which makes it a bit tricky. So I'm posting it on my web site.

I'm going to post the first section as a teaser under the cut, since it's really too long to post here. Or you can go directly to it: Rites of Passage. And if you want to and can afford to throw something in the donation box after you read it, I'd really appreciate that.

In other news, this week I'm working on the edits for the first two Raksura novellas, "The Tale of Indigo and Cloud" and "The Falling World," which will be published by Night Shade in a paperback collection and individually as ebooks in September. The next two, "The Dead City" and "Novella 4: I don't have a title yet" will be out in Spring 2015. I'm still trying to finish "I don't have a title yet."

first section teaser: Rites of Passage )
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Just posted a new short story to the Three Worlds Compendium:

Trading Lesson Sunset Water comes to Indigo Cloud to trade.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
Added a new missing scene from The Cloud Roads to the Books of the Raksura Compendium. Scroll down to The Stories section.

If you haven't checked it out yet, there are three short stories, two more missing scenes, some additional appendices for the books, and some lovely fan art.
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Had to go to the grocery store early this morning to get all the things I forgot when I went to the grocery store the last time. It turns out that when you're having an allergy/sinus issue that's making you sleepy and stupid, you go to the grocery store and buy things like organic lettuce and sesame chips, and not things like rice and carrots and cat litter and other things that you actually need. Let this be a lesson to all of you.

There is a new missing scene from The Cloud Roads on the Three Worlds Compendium. It's a scene between Jade and Stone, not long after Moon and Stone reach the colony. It was originally an experiment in doing some scenes from Jade's perspective, but I decided I didn't want the reader to know more about what Jade was thinking than Moon did.
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] misslynx asked how do you handle having to write bad things happening to characters you like? I'm working on a novel right now and one of the things I'm wrestling with is that a certain point, a character I'm quite fond of is going to have to die, and I really don't want him to. But it has to happen for plot reasons. Intellectually I'm fine with it, and understand that good stories often include tragedies as well as triumphs, that it would probably weaken the story if I found some way to avoid killing him, etc. But emotionally, I'm having a hard time facing up to it, and keep avoiding writing that scene. Any advice?

I've found it hard too, even if I've known that character is going to die from the beginning. In some ways I think it's a good thing: if you're emotionally engaged with the character, the reader is more likely to be emotionally engaged with them. I don't think there is anything you can do to make it easier.

If I have to write a scene that's difficult for me emotionally, I notice that it will sometimes take four or five drafts for me to really get it where it needs to be. I did that recently with a scene in the book I just finished. The scene needed to be horrific, and it took me about four drafts to get it to the level of horror I wanted.


Just finished reading Ran Away by Barbara Hambly. This is the latest book in her Benjamin January series, set in 1830s New Orleans. January is a free black surgeon and musician, and he fights crime. This is a great historical mystery series which I've enjoyed for a long time, and I really liked this one, too. In this one, a rich Turkish visitor to New Orleans is accused of strangling two of his concubines and throwing the bodies out a window. But Ben knew the man when he lived in Paris, and is certain he would never have done it. Solving the mystery forces Ben to confront his memories of his first wife Ayasha, who died in Paris, and how much he still misses her despite how happy he is with Rose. I love these characters.

I'm about to start reading Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed, which is a sword and sorcery fantasy adventure about Doctor Adoulla, ghul hunter, and I'm really looking forward to it.


If you missed it yesterday, I posted a new free short story, a prequel to The Cloud Roads on my web site: Adaptation. It's the story of how Chime turned into a warrior.

Other short stories set in the Three Worlds on my site are: The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment, which is about a different set of characters, and The Forest Boy, which is another prequel, about Moon as a young boy.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
I just posted a new free short story, a prequel to The Cloud Roads on my web site: Adaptation. It's the story of how Chime turned into a warrior.

I've got a few more writing questions to answer, so I'll be doing a post on that a bit later.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
Posted a new story to my web site: The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment. It's set in the same world as The Cloud Roads books.

Jai had thought this job was a good idea for a number of reasons, but watching Flaren's face as they waited to meet with Canon Hain, she was no longer so sure. Flaren was grimly trying to contain any emotion, but his desperation was leaking out of him like he was a sieve.

Jai scratched her lip beneath the curve of her tusk, and said, as if to herself, "We could jump over the side, swim for it, until Kiev could pick us up." Foreigners and exiles were only permitted to set foot on the floating city of Issila at the trading platforms, so that was where they waited, the fresh salt-tempered wind pulling at their hair and clothes, the sun warm and bright.


Not much else to report. No new rain here, no new fire that I know of. The library and the bookstore hath forsaken me on all the books I'm looking for, but I'll try again sometime this week.

I've been trying to do three bar aerobics classes a week, and mostly succeeding (except for WorldCon-ArmadiloCon week). We have our toughest instructor back for one class, and I am very sore. You can always tell when the instructors have been to an out-of-town seminar or convention; they come back with lots of new ideas for terrible things we should do to our muscles.


Malindo Lo: What does "authentic" mean, anyway?
Some of this is entwined with the wider discussion over the #YesGayYA situation, which prompted me to write last week’s post on the statistics about the state of LGBT YA publishing. Some of this is entwined with discussions I had earlier this year during the Diversity in YA tour, when we were routinely asked questions like, "How do you write about diversity authentically?"
marthawells: (Naptime)
It hasn't rained here in a very long time, and now the weather is saying things like "2% chance of precipitation. 2%. It's never going to rain again and we're all going to die.

I submitted a short story this morning, so wish me luck. (I usually don't have great luck with short stories, so I can use all I can get.) And I've got some new people on my flist, so I wanted to link again to a story I posted on my web site in 2009:

The Forest Boy. This is set in the world of The Cloud Roads, and is about Moon when he was growing up.

The Excerpts and Free Short Stories page lists all the other stories posted on my web site.


Barbara Hambly has a guest post on the Night Bazaar: Favorite Science Fiction Novels


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