Too excited to think of a title!

I have the best news EVER… maybe.

A long time ago I posted about having lost all the editing I did on a collection of stories. I had worked hard on the original versions, which I still had, but it was probably the most effort I had ever put into editing any of my creative work, and then I lost the files! …or did I?

By the definition of “lost,” yes, I did lose the work, because I could not find those files. But perhaps misplaced is a better term–because I think I’ve found the missing files.

I was looking through my external hard drive files and I saw there, finally, another file of these same stories. It was a larger file, indicating a fairly substantial number of pages, and it was saved in April of 2010, which is right around the last time I remember having that lost thumb drive. To satisfy my curiosity, I opened the file and had a quick look through it.

1. It has all five stories. I had been looking for them separately whenever I searched before, for whatever reason not considering that I had probably saved them all into one file.

2. The original files had preliminary titles for each story, but this one has the final titles. (Final, but with room for adjustment if I come up with something better.)

I have not yet looked carefully enough to confirm that this IS the file I’ve been looking for, but all signs point to yes! What a mood booster. I had the intention of sending this collection out to publishers, but got so discouraged at the thought of doing the first round of revisions again that I just put it off… and off… and off… and haven’t looked at it since. Time to dust it off. That’s a great conclusion to a Friday!

~

By now you might be wondering, unless you were here back then, what the story’s about. It was an independent study project from my college years, a joining of mythologies from various traditions all pulled together through the life of the Hindu god Krishna. I’ve always been fascinated by mythology and I loved writing these stories. One of the main comments I have gotten on this work is that the stories could be worked into each other a little better, so I will make an attempt to do that. I’ve also been told my female characters aren’t strong enough, which is odd, because I’m female–but not so odd, because it reflects the way female characters have been represented in much of the literature I’ve read. And I’m a feminist, too. MUST WRITE STRONGER WOMEN….

Writing Update!

Want a little snippet of info on what might be coming up? Watch THIS…

 

 

And if you’re interested in reading more, consider poking me about these projects once every week or two. Sometimes I need to know someone else is actually waiting for me to do the writing, and it’s not just me.

 

Last but not least, check back tomorrow morning for a Five Things Friday post. I’ll try to make it a really good one.

Projects

1. Sleeping Beauty-based novel about stories and interpersonal relationships. There’s only a side love story in this one! I’m sure many people will be disappointed, but that’s life. Still not getting anywhere in the writing, but against all rationale and logic I still believe I can get some momentum going on that…

 

2. A series of short (ish) stories in which figures from various cultural myths encounter the Hindu god Krishna at important points in their lives. This was my senior writing project in 2008-2009, which I revised, then saved on a thumb drive and apparently nowhere else, then lost the thumb drive. I want to publish this as a book, so I need to re-revise, then decide what the next step should be. Agents? Send to publishers without an agent? Self-publish. Ugh. So much work. I’m literally ONLY good at the creative stuff. (At least, I used to be.)

 

3. At least three short stories I wrote and never finished. Sometimes I completely lose interest after the first draft.

 

4. Return to retellings of fairy tales written throughout high school (and even a bit in college). I’m thinking I might post it on fanfiction (yes, I am a dork), because I already have readers there. Then again, I do eventually want people to take me serious as a writer, so… maybe not.

Maybe I’ll make a new pen name! Then I can dissociate the stories from the old, ridiculous harry potter fanfics (which still get reviews, somehow…)

 

5. Don’t Die. I feel good about this one, since most people in the world will also be working on this project with me.

The 2011 Plan

My god… it’s so strange to think that it’s already 2011. I remember the last millenium. In some ways, I think it was better – but of course I’m looking forward, not back. Or trying to.

My Helen of Troy novel is going on hiatus. I’ve got a good base to work from, but I need to research the myths and ancient greek history a little to have a better visual of the world of Helen. Unfortunately, doing such research now would interfere with my other plans, so it’ll have to wait. For the convenience of anyone who is interested in reading or re-reading Helen, I will make a page that includes the first two chapters sometime in the next few days. And, as usual, I will point it out in a post, so you won’t be able to miss it if you try.

Speaking of Helen, I’m thinking of titling the work The Life of Helen. Have I mentioned that already? Any thoughts?

My main goal for 2011, aside from attempting to publish my Mythology Project (for which I still need to write a synopsis…), is about my fairy tales. I am going to write some more stories, polish up some others, overhaul one completely, and look into self-publishing in ebook format. It’s really time to get my writing out there, I think.

As for the blog, I’m thinking you’re mostly going to see microfiction and progress updates, as well as a few musings on random-ish subjects of my choosing.

Side note: If you didn’t see the link to September 2042 in the last post, please go check it out now! I’d love some feedback, on the fictionpress site or as a blog comment, doesn’t matter.

 

Sorry for the mostly administrative post. I’ll try to get some new creative material up very soon.

And Having Done So, I Blogged About It

I have finished writing Chapter 2 of Helen! When I’ve had a chance to give it a quick once-over, I’ll post the whole chapter. Right here, I’ll tell you my thoughts on this chapter/the whole novel so far –

 

Chapter 2, The Welcome Feast (not its actual title), is going to need a LOT of editing, when I get to that point. The pages about the feast do not seem complete to me. Although Helen’s perceptions of things are sometimes a little vague, if she’s overwhelmed or distracted, children do notice a lot, and she would be very interested in what was going on. I know that Hector needs more description. In fact, most of the characters could probably use some more physical description. In the first draft, I need to move the story along a little faster, to relay information as slowly as I intend, but still feel like I’m getting somewhere. I need to get into it to picture it better. (The mythological/historical research could help with that as well.)

 

In the meantime, I’m interested to know how you, the readers, are picturing places, people, etc. How do you see Hector? What about Clytemnestra, or Tyndareus? What does your image of the feast look like? If you feel inclined to answer, when I post the chapter, that is, I’d love to hear what you think.

Updates, Ideas

Some of my readers (I know at least a few people read my blog regularly, which is a small comfort) might be interested to know that I’ve made slight progress on Helen. Since the last pages haven’t included as much fun imagery, and more of establishing plot elements and relations between characters, I would prefer not to post any excerpts. I might not post any more of it until I’ve finished writing Chapter 2. Before the end of November, I do so hope…

In terms of my November writing goals, I haven’t made much headway yet. The last two weeks have been full of wasted time. I would use the term “Epic Fail,” but it’s very slang-y.

 

If I had the means, I would make book trailers that looked like movie trailers. Most of my longer fiction has plots that lend themselves well to such trailers. (Think mythology, magic, color, gorgeous outdoor settings, etc.) Of course, while I can create these trailers in my head, I don’t have the equipment, skills, or manpower needed to actually do so. However, I do like the idea a lot. And don’t you think that it would interest people who may not otherwise ever hear of my books?

A more likely idea: I have been thinking of creating a fictionpress account to put up my fairy tale retellings. All of them need at least some editing, so it wouldn’t happen for a while. I’d be happy to post them here, but I feel they’d have much more visibility on that other site. I’d post links, of course, so my blog readers wouldn’t miss anything (unless they want to). Once I’ve got the first few chapters of Helen and the short stories I’ve been meaning to finish crossed off the list, I’ll probably look into editing the fairy tales. More on that later.

I’ve had a flash fiction series idea. Look for the first one by Friday.

Helen: Chapter 2, part 2

Click here to read part 1 of chapter 2.

When the nurse finally accompanied Helen into the main hall for the celebrations, Clytemnestra was already there, but Tyndareus was not, nor were their new guests. Disappointed, Helen moved toward her sister, who was currently circling the hall in a half-hearted inspection of the room. Helen slipped her hand into Clytemnestra’s and joined her in looking over the festive additions to the room. Gauzy golden fabric had been hung over and between the usual tapestries – well out of the way of the torches, which had all been lit, as the sun was obscured behind thunderclouds – making the room seem to glow. Numerous polished platters of food covered every surface. Musicians tuned lyres and harps.

“There are more musicians than usual,” Helen noticed.

“They are going to great trouble with the entertainment for Hector, I imagine,” Clytemnestra commented sagely. “I heard that there will be dancers later tonight.”

“I don’t understand… no other land’s princes come to stay with us, and Father doesn’t usually stay so long away from us. Why do we do all of this for the Trojans?”

Clytemnestra sighed. “You were very young the last time Father voyaged to Troy. He was gone for a long time – not as long as this time, but longer than I can recall him being away in any other kingdom. I don’t know why any more than you do, but there is something about Troy that makes it special to him. And Helen, don’t ask such questions in front of the Trojans. It will seem ungracious.”

Helen did not understand why she should have to be so gracious, but she was excited to have a brother at last and would rather not insult Hector. With this in mind, she agreed to show only happiness and hospitability in the Trojans’ presence.

Lightning flashed. It must have struck an arm’s length from the castle, for the shimmering fabric decorating the walls lit the room to impossible brightness. It appeared like all lightning, powerful but fleeting. It was over before Helen had a chance to properly admire the effect. The room seemed unbearably dim in comparison, with torches as the only source of illumination, although she liked how everything seemed to glitter. While the gray clouds grew darker outside, the hall felt like a cozy, dreamy nymph-dwelling.

Clytemnestra and Helen, completing their first circuit around the hall, met their father’s brother Icarius at the main entrance. They each received a cordial greeting from him, then a warm embrace. Their affection for him was nothing like what they felt for their father, but still very strong.

“Is Father coming out soon, Uncle?” Helen asked, unable to contain her excitement.

“As soon as he can, little one,” Icarius answered, patting Helen’s cheek lightly. “He had a few matters to see to before the feast – needs to get caught up on the past year before he can get back to running the kingdom. It’s a lot of information to study, but don’t worry. He knows how much his daughters want to see him.”

Icarius excused himself, joining a group of the Spartans who had accompanied Tyndareus to Troy. He had grown up with them and missed their company in the past months. A goblet of wine in his hand, Icarius was soon exclaiming and laughing as animatedly as any of the Spartan warriors.

Another half an hour passed, and neither Tyndareus nor Hector had yet appeared. Helen wondered whether it would be more polite for Tyndareus to arrive first, making him present to welcome their royal guest, or for Hector to come out and wait for the king of his new host country. She wondered if their opinions on the matter would be the same.

She would have asked Clytemnestra, but her sister had claimed a sofa and was currently picking delicious-looking morsels from a golden plate at a leisurely pace. The plates of gold, Helen’s nurse had told her, were special and few, nearly always reserved for the royalty. Helen only saw them brought out for feasts; she was provided ceramic and silver dishes for everyday use. It distracted her momentarily, seeing that golden plate. They were so polished, bright, rare, that she loved to eat off of them. She began to wander toward the food, in search of her own golden plate. When she found it, she would, as always, briefly inspect her reflection. It was not often that she had the chance to see herself in a plate’s surface, and the novelty always amused her.

Helen had hardly begun her treasure hunt when she heard Tyndareus’ arrival announced. She did not wait to see him, but sprinted toward the door, weaving between bodies when they blocked her way. Her small, perfectly formed feet (her nurse had commented on the shapeliness of her feet many times as she did the laces on Helen’s sandals) carried her swiftly to the entrance, where she ran headlong into her father’s arms. He staggered back one step as her force hit him, chuckling deeply.

“I’m so glad to see you, dear daughter. You look lovely. What a pretty belt of ribbons.”

Her father always noticed things like that. Helen smiled broadly. “Thank you, Father.”

An especially loud crack of lightning resounded through the room, flashing several times before it was gone. Startled, Helen gripped her father’s arm until the lightning stopped. The scowl on his face made her nervous. It was the expression he always wore when a thunderstorm became particularly violent, or a lightning strike was especially close.

That one, drawn out bolt signaled the end of the storm. The rain soon abated to a few drops here and there. Once Tyndareus had said a fond hello to Clytemnestra, he made his way to the head of the long table in the room’s center. Some of the men sat with him. Tyndareus promised them his full attention once he had taken advantage of the food, and they laughed, their spirits no doubt lifted by the ceasing of the rain. In no time at all, the clouds had melted from the sky, leaving them with a view of a lovely twilight.

Twinkling pinpricks of stars were slowly dotting the sky, soon to be filled with thousands of bright lights, when Hector led the Trojans into the hall. …To be continued