Archive for April, 2013

As the title suggests, today is special. (And also Tuesday.) Instead of my babbling you get my friend: the decidedly more eloquent Kai Kiriyama. Her book Pathogen: Patient Zero is being released tomorrow by Lemorn so do yourself a favor and look it up. 🙂 You can also find her blog here.
So without further ado, I’ll stop babbling and let her get on with her super blog double post. First up is my (totally not craptastic) attempt at an interview and it’s followed up with an extra blog post written by Kai. Enjoy!

Hi Jess! Thank you for hosting me this week! I’m excited to answer your questions so let’s just get it started?
 
1. When/why did you start writing?
I’ve always been writing. Even in grade school, I would come back with 20+ pages for creative writing assignments when we only needed 2. I decided that this was the only career that interested me when I was about 13 and I started to get really serious about it then.
2. What is your favorite zombie or zombie related thing? (Because I’m nosy)
Is it gauche to answer this with a celebrity’s name? Ha ha. And is it a faux pas to answer it with my own book series? Seriously though, that’s a pretty tough question. There’s so much out there in zombie culture, it’s really hard to pick just one thing. My favourite zombie books right now are the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant and Shaun of the Dead is my favourite zombie movie. The fact that I write for Zombie Training Magazine also really makes me happy.
3. If the zombie apocalypse began tomorrow, how dead would you be? 😀
I like to think that I’d be relatively okay, at least for a little while. But then again, I’m 100% convinced that there will be no zombies in Canada because we have healthcare. Ha ha! My ZA preparedness has been lacking lately, but I’m working on fixing that. I know how to grow food, forage, and I”m pretty sure that we could hole up in our house for a few months with little to no problems, as long as everyone else goes away. 
4. What are some of your favorite books? (Because I’m still nosy)

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Interview with the Vampire, The Hobbit, Dracula, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, The Newsflesh Trilogy, American Gods, Good Omens, the Discworld series… I can make a HUGE list but it would be twice as long as the guest post I’m writing ha ha! Suffice it to say that I’ll read pretty much anything you give me.
And the bonus round – my whacked out question:

5. If you were an action figure, what would your special feature be?
 
Ooh, I like this question. My special feature would be “caffeine jitters action!” You’d push a button or pull a rip cord in my back and I would shake all over the place and not be able to hold a pen or type on my laptop. (accessories sold separately.) And the shakes would be worse if I’m NOT holding a cup of caffeinated wonderfullness. 
 
*****

“Something that You Wouldn’t Expect About Me”

-Kai Kiriyama

You’re staring at me, I can feel it.

The writer.

Is that disdain? Or jealousy? I don’t care. Be critical. Judge me. That’s cool.

Lonely? Sure, I’m a writer.

Overweight? Just a little. I’m a geek. And a writer.

Weird? D’uh.

Insomniac. Caffeine addict. Avid reader.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

But there’s so many crazy things that come out of my brain, and sometimes my mouth. And definitely all over Twitter. I get it. I’m a pretty open book.

So thinking of something unexpected about me is a little more difficult. I wracked my brain trying to think of something that would surprise you all for this blog post.

And I think I finally figured it out.

Ready for this shocking revelation?

I am really relatively boring.

Yeah, you read that correctly.

I’m boring.

“But, Kai? How can that be?” you are probably asking. “You’re a writer! You’re a published writer! And a time-traveller! You have crazy coloured hair! You quote movies all the time! How can you possibly be boring?”

That’s just it. I don’t go out and party. I prefer to stay home. I go out sometimes, yes, dinner and drinks with friends, but I’m not one to go get wasted. I’m secretly boring.

I think that’s how I get so much writing done. I love to visit my friends and I love to hang out with people, sure, but I’m not a party animal. I’m not someone who places more value on partying than on quality time with a good book or my writing. I’m very much a homebody and I’m quiet, usually.

I think that, as with almost everything in life, balance is the key. I need to balance my going out with my staying at home and cultivating my writing. I balance my dinner dates with a TV date with my sister. I balance my sleeping time with my writing time… Okay, that last one got away from me but I think the point is clear.

I’m a creative individual. I see the world through a different lens. Sometimes it’s rose-coloured, sometimes it’s bathed in the blood of my enemies, it just depends on the day. At the core of it all though, I’m content with my boring life of writing.

Adventures are great, and I wish I had more of them, but for now, I’m completely content to being the boring writer who doesn’t party.

You all may or may not know that this story I’m working on has smut in it. Of course if you didn’t know before you do now. You can thank the smutty content for the title of my post.

Anyway, now that we’ve got that bit out of the way…

I’ve reached that point in the story where everything is falling into place and the end is nigh. And I hate it.

In theory, I should be happy that I’m spitting distance from the end of this novel. I love my characters. The plot has developed at a good pace and for once I shouldn’t have any major plot holes to pave over when I edit. These are all good things.

But still: the hate.

Anyone who’s seen my babbling on twitter has probably happened upon at least a couple of my character related tweets. My current main characters, Taisce and Sef, are idiots and I love them for it. They argue while they travel from town to town. They insult each other during sex. Taisce is allergic to the words “thank you” and Sef has considered a number of creative ways to kill him. (Did I mention that this is a romance?) This is the most fun I’ve had writing a story in a while. And it’s almost over.

The usual response to the end of a first draft seems to be “Hurray! I’m done!” Mine is more along the lines of writhing on the floor while listening to break up songs.

But I’m the Little Engine Who Smutted and I can do this. It would be ridiculous to get this close to the end and then stop. Not to mention counterproductive. My characters may have to drag me every syllable of the way but we’ll make it to THE END. And when we get there I will bid them farewell for now (Don’t forget I still have a novella to write for you, Sef.) even though it will stomp my heart. They deserve a proper ending and I’d hate to let them down.

No doubt I’ll be pulling out of the station again sometime soon, chugging up my hill with a new set of characters that I never thought I could love as much as the old ones, and when I get close to the top of the hill I’ll have to remind myself again: I can do it. I can do it. I can do it. Because I can. And I will.

I think I might make this a thing. Monday is show and tell day until I either run out of things to show or someone tells me to stop. 😀

And so I have whittled away at the beginning of my old novel Posthumous to make it work as a short story. Usual rules apply: largely unedited, can’t be held responsible for typos etc etc and so on and so forth blahbity blah. (Should I warn for swearing?) I think you get the idea by now. Happy reading…

 

“This place is supposed to be haunted by a whole family or something,” whispered Meg.

Henry rolled his eyes.

“You don’t think it’s haunted?”

“Doesn’t matter as long as you get paid.”

“True enough.”

Meg poked at a tumbled shelf with one toe. Everything was dismal grey and spotted with water damage. The walls ran with dark marks and the floors glittered with broken glass. She had been right to wear her work boots. There could be anything hiding there in the dark.

She shivered.

“Cold?” Henry cast her a sideways look as he turned into the nearest doorway. He paced the length of the room and came back, shaking his head. Empty.

“Just a little.” Meg wrapped her coat around her a little tighter. It had been warmer when they first arrived but sunset had stolen what little warmth there was.

Something creaked from the second floor.

Meg and Henry looked up at the ceiling. A large dark spot was directly overhead, bowed down as if it were reaching towards them.

“Should I check it out?” Henry asked after a moment.

Meg shook her head. “Let’s finish down here first.”

“Do you even feel anything?”

“No. You?”

“No.” His eyes showed his growing impatience.

Meg smiled. “Since you’re so sure the place is clear, you can wait outside. If you want.”

“Not fucking likely.”

“Suit yourself.” She glanced around the living room. The long windows on the far side of the room were a mass of spiderweb cracks. More than one pane was broken all together. “This place certainly looks creepy enough to be haunted. Half the windows are boarded up.”

“People break windows, not ghosts.”

Meg shrugged. She put a hand to the wall. It felt damp.

“Did they give you the story this time?”

“No. I asked them not to. The less I know, the better.” She put her other hand to the wall, feeling along the scarred wallpaper as if there might be a door hidden beneath the paper and plaster. Faint ripples stood out against her palms, scraping at her and leaving her hands feeling chalky with mildew. Nothing. She dropped her hands from the wall, dusting them off. “Let’s go upstairs, Henry.”

Meg turned, trailing off. Henry wasn’t there.

“Henry?”

She poked her head back into the hallway. It was empty, as was the dining room. Had he gone outside to wait after all? She sighed. He’d been awfully unreliable lately. And moody. She wondered why she let him tag along at all. If anything, he was a distraction because here she was once again thinking about Henry instead of finishing the job she was getting paid for.

“That’s so like him,” Meg hissed, stomping back into the living room. She wondered if she could get a peek of the front yard through the broken windows. She doubted it.

High pitched laughter echoed through the empty halls, just barely loud enough for her to hear. Meg counted to five, holding her breath just in case. She heard it again, quieter this time. Then another faint creak from somewhere above. She stiffened, listening, waiting for more. The quick skitter of feet or an echo of memories was all she needed.

Away from the half boarded windows of the living room, the hall was unbelievably dark. Flashlight in one hand and the other hand on the banister she crept up the steps. Her heart was beating so loudly she wasn’t sure if she would have been able to hear a marching band if they came up behind her. The next step gave beneath her foot. It shrieked like a tiny banshee when she put her weight on it. And when it did, Meg screamed too. She put a hand to her heart, thankful that it had stayed in her chest. Ahead of her, another scream, low and guttural, made it a trio. The sweat that had been cooling on Meg’s body sprang up again with renewed vigor. Had someone been murdered in this house? Was that the victim? The sound had come from the second floor. She wanted to charge forward until she’d found the source of the noise. But that was always a bad idea. Especially without Henry around for backup. Meg frowned. Where had he gone?

The upper hallway was an unremarkable stretch of bare wood plank with closed doors on all sides. Or mostly closed doors. One was open just a crack she saw when she turned the flashlight on it. In the darkness beyond something moved, one shadow passing through another. It was impossible to make out from the top of the stairs. Meg moved forward, flashlight always moving, waiting for another sound or an indication of a presence. She got one in the form of a low hissing voice and another moan. Meg couldn’t keep from shaking, anticipation and cold mixing into a furious tremor. Her flashlight shook, strobing over the walls.

She put a hand out, preparing herself to open the door, wondering what was on the other side.

“I wouldn’t open that,” Henry said, appearing at her shoulder without a sound.

Meg would have screamed again if she wasn’t busy having heart palpitations. Her flashlight slid through her fingers and hit the floor with a clatter, painting the walls in swirling light as it rolled away.

“I told you not to do that!” Meg said, wishing she could hit him. She knew better than to try. Last time she’d only gotten the wall and a set of badly bruised knuckles. “Where did you go?”

“I just popped out for a minute.”

“Popped out. You popped out. Oh, of course.” Meg retrieved her flashlight to hide her agitation. “Why shouldn’t I open the door?”

“You don’t want to see what’s in there.”

For a moment, Meg could only stare at him. Henry with his perfect hair and his perfect calm, arms crossed over his perfect chest. He didn’t seem the least bit distressed by whatever was behind the door. So why should she be? Meg had already seen plenty of terrible things in her life. Headless ghosts, anguished souls caught in their own death echoes. She had watched people burn to death over and over again. So what could possibly be so terrible that he wouldn’t want her to see it? She was immediately insulted.

“I’m not so delicate,” Meg said, charging forward. The moment the door slid open and her light fell on the bed she froze. Her mouth fell open. She wanted to look away but she couldn’t. She just couldn’t.

Henry’s hands wrapped around her, covering her eyes, but she could still see through his fingers. It was impossible to look away.

On the bed, the woman screamed, no, not a woman, she was only a girl, no more than sixteen. When she saw Meg standing in the doorway, she pulled the boy down on top of her, trying to cover herself. The boy, his back to them, kept thrusting, grunting, unaware that they were being watched. The girl slapped at him and pointed. Meg gave him credit for not screaming himself. It wasn’t every day that you got caught having sex in a supposedly haunted house. The two of them were caught in Meg’s unwavering flashlight beam, spotlighted while they grabbed for a sheet that wasn’t there. The boy’s ass was round and white like a perfect moon.

Then Meg started laughing. She couldn’t have stopped even if she wanted to.

“I told you not to look,” Henry said in her ear.

And Meg just laughed.

“Is that the ghost?” the girl asked, still trying to use the boy for cover. He was trying and failing to find his pants.

Meg finally tore her eyes away, closing the door while the two of them searched for their clothes. She even managed a tiny, “Excuse me,” as she did. She leaned against the wall.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Meg asked.

Henry hid his smile between one hand. Badly. “I tried to.”

“All you had to say was ‘not a ghost.’ Is that so hard?”

“But it was a lot funnier that way.”

The bedroom door creaked open again. The young couple appeared, avoiding eye contact, and scrambling like ants fleeing from the magnifying glass. They hustled to the stairs, hitting the creaking step so hard that it made Meg jump. As they turned the corner and disappeared onto the landing, Meg heard the girl ask, “Who was she talking to?” She couldn’t hear the boy’s response. Assuming there was one.

“I suppose there’s no point in looking around anymore tonight,” Meg said. “Is there?”

Henry shrugged and followed her down the stairs.

By the time they made it to the front door, the couple had already disappeared. Meg was glad. She had nothing to say to them. And now every time she looked up at the full moon she thought of teenage behinds.

She rubbed her eyes. She hadn’t found a single scrap of paranormal activity. Well, not anything that she hadn’t brought with her anyway. But she could hardly charge for that.

She trudged out onto the front lawn. The night air was heavy with fog, compounding the dampness she was already feeling.

“I’m tired. I don’t suppose you could drive,” Meg said, already rounding the car and opening the driver’s side door. She looked at Henry over the roof.

“Har de har har,” Henry said dryly. “Are you trying to piss me off?”

“Yes. Yes, I am. You totally abandoned me in there. Again. Where did you go?”

“I’ll explain later.”

“That’s what you always say.” Meg slid into the car and Henry was already there waiting for her. She rubbed her eyes and put her head down on the steering wheel for a moment. She was suddenly very tired.

“Meg.”

She shook her head, eyes closed. “What?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, me too. Next week’s the anniversary. What kind of flowers do you want me to put on your grave?”

Henry thought for a moment. “Surprise me.” He smiled faintly, almost glowing in the moonlight.

Meg pulled the car into the nearest driveway to turn around. She checked the mirrors even though there were no cars out so late at night. Immediately her eyes strayed back to the house with its boarded up windows. What a disappointment.

Then the door opened, reversed in her mirrors. A thin childlike form stepped into the moonlight, glowing pale blue like Henry, and waved.

So someone just told me about the Trifecta Writing Challenge. And I do love a challenge, even when said challenge is ending in a matter of hours. The task was to write exactly 33 words inspired by the following quote:

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” ― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

And here we have my attempt at keeping to 33 words. XD

She lay back in the grass, counting the stars and trying to imagine her life as something better. In her dreams, she would be like those nameless, numberless stars shining in the darkness.

 

And in conclusion: 33 words is HARD. But I did it! Yay me.

(Someone please tell me you got that reference.)

Ahem, anyway… As I mentioned before, I’ve been writing for many years. Sometimes successfully. Sometimes very UNsuccessfully. Whether the first draft crashed and burned some of my novels will always hold special places in my heart and in my conversation. I thought I’d stop confusing my writer friends (and any potential blog readers) when I talk about my different novels. So here you go:

 

The Official Primer Of My Novels …mostly

First up we have –

E :

The story of a half demon librarian (named E because she defies all my attempts to name her properly) trying to live a normal life. This one hardly needs mentioning but it holds the record for most pages written and discarded. At last count I had well over 200 pages that didn’t quite go together. From one draft. It’s in its 4th incarnation. Either way, it’ll always hold a special place in my heart because it was the story I won my first Nano with in 2008.

 

Half Life :

One night a young woman (Miranda) wanders into a skewed version of the city she’s always known. There’s much oddness and the appearance of three men (Jude, Gregory, and Dismas) who seem to be following her every move.

I started (and finished) the first draft for Nanowrimo in 2009. This one stubbornly refuses to move beyond novella length despite my efforts to the contrary. Status: second draft

 

The Devil’s Son :

A woman, her missing sister, and an urban legend that can’t possibly be true. It’s one big mystery and quite frankly I have no idea how to write it. XD But someday I mean to edit it into something readable because who doesn’t love a mystery about an urban legend?

First draft was finished for Nano 2010.

 

Thief’s Game (aka: Connor the faerie thief) :

Connor works in a call center by day and spends his nights as a very successful thief. When he takes an interest in Jake McAvoy, the detective assigned to catch him, things get even more fun. And dangerous of course. Did I mention he was part-Fae?

In case you couldn’t tell, this one is m/m romance. It’s also getting edited this year because I play favorites. I wrote the first draft during Camp Nano in 2011. Yes, both months.

 

I’m Just Super :

Yes. It’s that one. The one I’ve been keyboard smashing over for the past year. Dade’s genesis story and the beginning of all my other Super stories.

Dade never wanted to be a superhero, except for when he kinda did. He’s got super strength, a chip on his shoulder, and culinary training. Yes. You read that right.

Dade returns to his hometown just in time for the rise of a new supervillain named Hypnos. And that’s the only thing that could force him to work with Pulse, the local superhero (that he totally doesn’t have a crush on.)

I’m on draft 1.49359 or thereabouts. Mostly because Dade is stubborn. And, yes, I frequently talk about him like he’s real.

 

And we end the list with:

Forgotten Monster :

Taisce is on a quest to find his wayward brother. Sef is a man with more than his fair share of secrets. There’s danger, snarking, a little romance, and the most complicated genre I’ve ever had to explain (that being Victorian/western/fantasy/romance though I suppose gaslamp fantasy is the technical term. Mostly.)

This is what I’m working on for the current Camp Nano. As of today we’re at 35k and counting. >_<

 

So. That covers most of my big stories. I have others of course (codenamed: There Will Be Vampires, The Power, my naked nephilim, etc etc etc and so on and so forth.) but we’ll save those for another rainy day when I’m feeling self indulgent.

Thoughts? Comments? Wishes for me to stop being so long winded?

I miss my old characters.

It’s funny. A few weeks ago they were driving me crazy and now I’m sitting here thinking “Gee, I miss Dade a lot. I wish I could write him again but I’m writing this other thing now. *siiiiiiigh*” I spent the better part of the last year with Dade and co. (aka: the Supers) so I guess I should have expected they wouldn’t stay away long. They’re like the friends you can’t help loving even though they do nothing but get you into trouble.

It was a normal day in Pantser-ville, about a year ago, when I decided to write a romance about a superhero. I tossed around ideas. Should the love interest be a reporter? A cop? Another hero? A villain? I had no idea. I didn’t even know which one of them would be the superhero. All I knew was “superheroes”, “big fight scene”, and “romance.” I started writing. Before I knew it Dade was born and I had an entire series on my hands. So far I’ve only got one novel and a couple of shorts but it continues to grow like the literary equivalent of The Blob. I never meant for it to take off like this.

Case in point:

I was innocently taking a shower last week (dun dun DUN) when Rory (Super name: Rocket) popped in to discuss his short story (which I hadn’t finished.) And by “discuss” I mean he offered me another amusing scene to tack on to his short. No big deal. A few hundred words never hurt anyone. Then he went on to explain why his sister-in-law hates him. Which is another story entirely …or maybe a novella. *headdesk* And have I mentioned that Rocket only appears in the original novel for about a paragraph?

Unfortunately, I can’t spend much quality time with Dade and co. until I’m done with my Camp Nano novel (sorry, Dade) but I can do the next best thing: offer up a snippet of the Rocket short story. (And before you ask, no, it’s still not done.) Hopefully that will appease the Supers (and my nostalgia) for the time being.

(Usual disclaimers apply. This story is largely unedited so I cannot be held accountable for typos, wonky grammar, abuse of the English language, or the fact that it still has no ending. If you like it please leave me a comment and boost my ego. If you don’t… I suppose that’s okay too. Thank you.)

Rory used to be up with the sun but these days he’s hard pressed to catch 9am and today is definitely not going to be one of those days.

“Breakfast is gonna get cold if you don’t hurry,” his wife Sarah calls from the kitchen, voice barely muffled by the walls and doors in the way. The woman could probably out scream a banshee when she’s in one of her moods.

Rory pries open one eye to check the light coming in the window. It’s still much too close to the hour of nine. He rolls over, pressing his face into the pillow and considering the likelihood that he can skip 9am and head straight to 10 instead. He’s just starting to drift off again when the door flies open, hitting the wall so hard it’s sure to leave another dent.

“I thought you were up!”

He knows what she looks like without even opening his eyes. Red ponytail flying behind her like the tail of a comet, hands on her hips, bare feet planted like the roots of a willow. Beautiful. And still pissed off.

“I know you can hear me!”

Rory squeezes his eyes shut and tries to hang on to that last fleeting tangle of sleep, a half remembered dream, but it’s already gone. He sits up. “Dammit, woman, I’m trying to sleep!” he roars back, menace lessened by his sleep puffy eyes. “It’s Sunday. People are supposed to sleep in on Sunday and I WAS UP UNTIL 3AM PULLING PEOPLE OUT OF A BURNING APARTMENT BUILDING,” he continues, volume increasing with every syllable. He drops back onto the pillows, energy spent and closes his eyes again.

“And whose fault is that?” she asks. Her bare foot taps against the hardwood floor in a steady tattoo. “You didn’t think maybe you should call me?” She pauses for the barest moment before she goes on. “You too good for a sidekick now? Is that it?”

He groans, giving up on the possibility of sleep, maybe forever. “I didn’t say that. But you were doing your girl’s night out thing,” he says, wincing. “You know your sister already hates me.”

“She does not!” Sarah sputters in the tone that means he’s absolutely right.

“She still calls me Rob.”

“She’s bad with names,” Sarah says, wincing too now.

“We’ve been married six years,” he deadpans.

She chews on that a moment, brow creasing as it sinks in that she’s rapidly losing this argument. “Okay. Fine!” she snaps, dropping on to the bed so hard that Rory nearly pops right out of it. She curls a leg under her, nestling into his side. “Maybe if you came up with a better excuse next time…”

Rory groans. “I don’t think that’s gonna help.”

“Yeah, but it couldn’t hurt, right?” She squirms in closer, soaking up the heat that Rory radiates like a man shaped sun. She slings an arm around his shoulders. “How many did you save? Were there kids?”

“Men, women, and children,” Rory says, smile growing.

Sarah’s answering smile is practically blinding. “That’s my man.”

That’s all for now, folks. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Greetings from day 3 of Camp Nanowrimo or as I like to call it: “I cheated and started writing two weeks ago but don’t tell anyone, okay?” Couldn’t be helped. I’m a pantser. I can’t waste time writing outlines and filling out character sheets. I literally sat around twiddling my thumbs and imagining the beginning scenes of my story on repeat. And going on Twitter. A lot. In the end, I couldn’t hold out.

I never claimed to have willpower.

(And before you cry foul, I’m not counting the 15k I wrote last month in my Camp word count. I started at zero like everybody else.)

Anyway, the thing is I’ve been working on this story for two weeks now but something strange has happened. #1) I have no idea what genre it is. No big deal. But more importantly is #2) I have this odd feeling that I’m not actually writing a novel.

Let me explain.

I started this story as something of a challenge. I can’t write high fantasy. I’ve tried and I’ve failed and I’m okay with that. But a friend of mine (you know who you are. O__o) dared me to write high fantasy for Camp and I accepted. I’ve been watching a lot of Merlin lately. I should’ve been all set, right? Wrong. I tried picturing quaint little villages and epic quests—maybe a dragon or two—but it felt like a parody. Maybe I’m too cynical for high fantasy. I don’t know. Either way, I’ve taken a hard left and now I’m wandering in the forest of “It’s a Victorian/western/fantasy/romance… or something.” My lack of definable genre doesn’t bother me much. I know where things go when I’m writing and that’s all that matters for now.

The bigger question mark for me is: why doesn’t this novel FEEL like a novel? I have nearly 20,000 words written and a vague direction for my plot which is as much as I’ve ever had when writing. It’s a novel. There’s no doubt about it, it’s a novel. But when I think about the future of my story, the potential editing, I never think “Gee, I can’t wait for people to read this. I can’t wait to submit it.” My endgame has always been to get published, preferably repeatedly, so this is very odd. I like my story. I’m pleased with where it’s going and my characters are already endearing themselves to me. But still the feeling of “I’m writing a novel” continues to elude me.

It’s a strange position to be in.

Why does this feel so much different than my other novels? Is it the setting? The genre change? Camp? (No, it can’t be Camp. I’ve done Nano for years and never felt like this before.) I wish I had an answer but I won’t look a gift story in the mouth—so to speak—because as long as this thing stays classified as “not-novel” in my head I feel less pressure to make it perfect. I’m not agonizing over the editing it will need later. I’m not worried about readers liking Sef (which is good because he’s kind of an ass.) Anything goes.

Sudden random changes in POV in the middle of a scene? Sure!

Characters acting out of character? Bring it on.

Convenient plot devices? Why not?

40,000 more words down the line I’ll probably be flailing over the fact that I never figured out Sef’s hair color and wondering how I could ever have felt like this wasn’t a novel. But before “novel” replaces “not-novel” I plan to enjoy it. And to try adding in that random ostrich someone suggested. I think I can make it work.

But who knows? Maybe I’m the only reader Sef and Taisce will ever see. And for once that’s okay too.