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Writing Process

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The one major to-do item for my vacation this week was to write a short story I promised for an anthology on libraries and librarians. As of now, it's complete and ready for a few beta readers with quick turn-around time. It ties in with my planned Restoration-era historic romance series (series title: Diana's Band) and involves the failed heist of a book of Latin pornography. (Nothing explicit in the story.)

Evidently at some point when I wanted an anchor to tag for talking about the next Alpennia book, I arbitrarily pencilled in an expected release date of March 2023. So if you happened to view the front page of this website at some point in the last four days, you may have gotten your hopes up that Mistress of Shadows had magically acquired a physical existence.

I'm working on whittling down my email in-box, which included an email reminder to myself to copy this item over from Goodreads. (I often email myself "to do" items. It may not be a great system, but it's a system.) The question concerns the title of the book by Fortunatus that forms one of the first intellectual connections between Margerit and Barbara in Daughter of Mystery. I've left the question in the informal Q&A format in which it appeared on my Goodreads page.

I've been posting about this on twitter, but maybe it's time to mention it in my actual Alpennia blog? For two weeks now, I've written at least a paragraph every day on Mistress of Shadows. So far I've been working on chapter 2 (in which I do emotionally traumatic things to Barbara and make her cry) because chapter 1 involves a new character and new setting (Zobayda in Marseilles) so I worried about getting bogged down by tackling it first.

I've sold two stories to the fantasy audio fiction podcast PodCastle -- both in a planned four-part series based on queer re-imaginings of the medieval Welsh Mabinogi. The first story, "Hoywverch" is a classic "wooing and winning" story in which a woman plays a risky trick on her lover's suitor to win her hand. The second, "Hyddwen" draws on the tradition of a debt to the Otherworld and impossible tasks to win one's freedom.

One aspect of not having a regular reason to drop by downtown Berkeley, is that I’m less likely to just drop by Moe’s Books or any of the other bookstores and randomly browse for interesting deep-background research materials. But this past week I had to drop off some UCB library books after work, and then wanted to kill some time until the traffic died down, so I did a shelf-browse at Moe’s and picked us some fun stuff. (I am regularly grateful that I don’t have to treat my fiction as the sort of business where research purchases have to pay for themselves.)

As has become the custom in SFF circles, this blog is to place on record those items I will have created in 2019 that might be of interest to those nominating and voting on SFF awards. (Or any other genre of awards, for that matter, but there really isn't any equivalent culture within the lesbian literary community.) At the actual end of the calendar year, I'll do my usual "What Hath She Wrote" post that summarizes all my activities, but this one is just for the plausibly SFF items.


I'm drafting up entries for an Alpennia FAQ based on either overt or implicit questions I get asked about the books. This time I tackle one more of the possible genres the books might fall in:

Are the Alpennia books SFF?

I've been writing an improvised photo-essay ghost story on social media over the last few days (on facebook and twitter). I was hoping to post the final compiled version here, but I'm having trouble getting the blog to behave with regard to posting the in-line images. Eventually I'll sort that out, but in the meantime it's on my other (personal) website.


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