WIP Progress Meter

Monday, October 13, 2008

YouTube video message to Sarah Palin from a Witch

A couple of days ago I posted a video message to Sarah Palin on YouTube in response to her anti-Witch stance. I hope you'll check it out, then pass it along!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmlDK-ZXx8E

Deborah

Interview with C. S. MacCath

Here is my interview with the wonderful C. S. MacCath, my co-writer in The Pagan Fiction Anthology:


You were a finalist in the Pagan Fiction Award contest. How did you come to write a pagan-based short story, and is much of you other work pagan as well?
I've been writing short stories with Pagan elements throughout my writing career. For me, Pagan fiction isn't so much a genre like speculative fiction, horror or mystery as it is an application of our particular world-view to storytelling. Having said that, all of the fiction I've written has been Pagan-themed, either explicitly, as in the case of "From Our Minds to Yours," or implicitly, as in the case of "The Longest Road in the Universe," which is forthcoming in Murky Depths next March.
I think it's healthy for the literary community to be exposed to Pagan themes in what it publishes and reads. They allow a safe place of entry into Paganism that can be accessed from the private relationship between the reader and the text. From there, tolerance might follow. So though I try not to be didactic about the inclusion of my faith in my work, it's usually always on my mind when I write, and I hope it reads well for Pagans and non-Pagans alike.
How long have you been writing, and where can people find your work other than the Anthology?
I've been writing since I could pick up a pen, but I've only been publishing my work with regularity in paying markets since 2004. My bibliography can be found at: www.csmaccath.com/view/csmbiblio and from there, folks can look for what they want to read in the appropriate places. A recently published story that might be of interest to Pagan readers is "Akhila, Divided," which can be found in Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, edited by Mike Allen. It's a science fantasy war story set in the far future at a monastery where various denominations of Paganism are practiced in combination with other faiths.
Your short story, "From Our Minds to Yours," is a disturbing look at a possible near-future scenario. How did you get the idea, and do you really think it could happen?
My husband brought the idea home to me one afternoon while he was in college a few years ago. He had been taking a course called "Computers, Ethics and Society" and was reading a book entitled Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century, by Simson Garfinkel. I believe he asked me, "What do you think would happen if people could become physically addicted to products?" After the long philosophical conversation that followed, I read the book as well, and then I did some research into current applications of nanotechnology. "From Our Minds to Yours" was the natural outgrowth of those things.
I wrote the story with the feasibility of the plot in mind. Right now, nanotechnology is used in everything from water reclamation to clothing manufacture. Given the current interpretation of Moore's Law, that the size and/or speed and/or functionality of a piece of technology doubles every eighteen months, and given a modest effort on the part of corporate lobbyists to legalize the relationship between nanotechnology and advertising, yeah, I think it's an absolutely realistic scenario in the next 25-50 years.
What would readers be surprised to learn about you?
I was born and raised a Jehovah's Witness.
You were able to go to Pantheacon for the presentation of the awards. What was your favorite aspect of the convention? [For readers who don't know, Panthecon is a huge pagan gathering held every February is San Jose, CA]
I very much enjoyed the oracular seidh hosted by Diana Paxson on Saturday night. I've been practicing various forms of divination for twenty-three years but have never encountered that particular configuration of group journey work and team divination before. I told Ms. Paxson afterward that it was interesting to see the weave between Michael Harner-esque shamanic practice and Northern European lore. And the seidh-workers themselves were remarkable, both in their stamina and in their accuracy.
Aside from your own, what was your favorite story in the Anthology and why?
I loved April's "A Valkyrie Among Jews," which placed first in the contest. I thought she juxtaposed Judaism with Paganism effectively, addressed some serious questions about the relationships between Pagans and non-Pagans and spoke to the transition between life and death both mythically and mundanely. It was a kick-ass story that was relevant to modern people of all faiths, and I hope it finds its way into the hands of folks who might need that safe place of entry into Paganism I mentioned before.
What are you working on these days and where can people contact you if they have more questions?
I'm currently working on a novel entitled Twilight of the World Sea People. It's the first novel in a trilogy entitled World Sea Legacy, which is itself part of a three trilogy/nine-novel space opera entitled Petals of the Twenty Thousand Blossom. I've pretty much ceased production at present on any short stories for the sake of the novels, but I'm hoping to write a few by the end of next year for a collection I'm piecing together entitled Spirit Boat. We'll see how that goes, though. Folks can contact me by using the contact form at www.csmaccath.com/contact, which drops messages into my primary e-mail account.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Interview with Author Alex Bledsoe

I was lucky enough to be able to interview my fellow-author, Alex Bledsoe, who also has a story in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction. Here it is. I hope you enjoy it. An interview with C. S. MacCath will follow next week!

DB: How long have you been writing short stories and is this your first pagan story?
AB: I've been seriously writing since 1996; and my first published story, "The Chill in the Air Wakes the Ghosts Off the Ground," was actually a pagan-themed story, although that wasn't a primary consideration at the time. In the nineties I had several pagan stories published in PanGaia magazine, and have also been published in The Wheel, Five Feathers (South Africa) and Dragonswood (UK).

DB: What draws you to write about pagans and how did you get the idea for the story in the anthology?
AB: I found the pagan view of the world to be amenable to my own, and it allowed me to deal with issues and topics that fascinate me in a way that might surprise the reader. Respect for nature, balance between men and women, and a direct relationship with a higher power free of institutionalized dogma are all things I believed in *before* I knew about paganism, and within these ideas are plenty of places for conflict with traditional society's values. That's usually where my stories come from.
When I heard about the anthology I knew I wanted to submit something, and I asked myself, "What's the *least* likely genre to have a pagan-themed story?" I decided the answer was a Western, so I challenged myself to write one that was both a traditional "oater" with a sheriff, a gunslinger and a showdown on main street, and that also brought in pagan ideas to generate the conflict.

DB: Your story takes place in the Old West, but in a very nontraditional way. You tend to write work that combines genres in an unconventional way, like your novel The Sword-Edged Blonde, which mixes sword and sorcery fantasy with the noir detective novel (quite successfully, I might add). How do you pull off such unusual pairings and what draws you to this approach?
AB: Usually it's a variant of the question I mentioned above: What's the least likely way to tell a particular story? The Sword-Edged Blonde started out as a straight epic fantasy, but it was too traditional, too average if you will, to come alive that way. So I thought, what's the most unusual way to tell this story, and decided to write it as a forties pulp detective novel, keeping the high fantasy setting. (The sequel, Burn Me Deadly, continues that approach). When I wrote my vampire novel Blood Groove, I had a story that technically could've worked in a contemporary setting, but had no real spark to it. So I backed it up to 1975, which put it before Anne Rice revolutionized the public idea of the vampire and allowed me to work with the vampire archetypes that spoke to me (Stoker, Hammer, etc.) free of any post-Rice irony.

DB: What can people expect from you next?
AB: Blood Groove will be released by Tor in the spring of 2009. The following fall, Burn Me Deadly (also from Tor) hits shelves. And a couple of other projects are making the rounds.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New books are out!

Hi all,
This is a big month for me. I have TWO books out. Well, one and part of one, really.
My second book from Llewellyn is out and looking great! I hope you'll all check it out. It's called Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusting, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft.
And my short story, "Dead and (Mostly) Gone" is included in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales, also out from Llewellyn this month. (My story is the first one in the book, BTW, and won 3rd prize in the contest that started it all.)
All in all, a pretty exciting month as an author.
I hope you all have a wonderful Mabon (Autumn Equinox, for all you non-pagans).
Blessings, Deborah

Friday, September 5, 2008

News and updates

Here’s the current news, good and bad.
Good news:
The new book is out! Yahoo! I got the advance copies for Everyday Witch A to Z and they look great! They should be available to all within a week or two. If you want a signed copy, you can go to my website and order one there, or contact me and let me know. Also out, The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales, containing my short story, “Dead and (Mostly) Gone.”
Blue Moon Circle is heading to Canandaigua NY this afternoon for tomorrow’s Fingerlakes Pagan Pride Day event. We went last year and had a great time. I hope that anyone in the area will come and say hi! I will be selling my jewelry and my first book there, and anyone who shows up can get 10% off the new book if it is ordered from my website. I love taking trips with the Blue Moon Circle gang, and I’m so glad that Shannon, Chris and Jenn are going with me. Blue Moon Circle rocks! We’ll miss Robin, who had planned to go bad had a sick toddler insteadL
Bad News:
My beloved cat Samhain (the kitty with me in my photo) has been diagnosed with kidney failure. Hopefully we caught it soon enough to be able to treat her and buy us a few more years, and at the moment she is doing pretty well. (I, on the other hand, am a wreck.) For now I have changed her to a special food and am giving her subcutaneous fluids every day (no fun for anyone, I assure you). Thankfully, she is pretty cooperative. All prayers and positive thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Special thanks to author Yasmine Galenorn (if you haven’t checked out either her nonfiction books on Witchcraft or her wonderful paranormal romances, run don’t walk to do so!). She’s been though this herself, and has been very generous with advice and support.
I’ll give an update on the trip and the kitty when I get back from FPPD. I hope everyone has a magickal weekend!
Blessing,
Deborah

Sunday, August 17, 2008

progress, but slowly

I am managing to write the 4 pages on average that I was aiming for on the new WIP, but real life is doing its best to get in the way:)
Yesterday's pages--6
Just going to work on today's.

On the bright side, I did put up a huge batch of pesto made from my own basil and garlic. Yum!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No progress is...no progress

Pages written today --0

Anything else accomplished - 0

Day spent with pal Ellen at the county fair - 1

Insanely unhealthy deep-fried foods eaten - don't ask!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Today's tally

Pages written -- Four and a half (chapter 6 and the start of 7)

Jewelry made -- 0

Time doing anything in the garden or yard -- 0

Responses to queries -- 0

Weird car stuff which will require a visit to my mechanic -- 1

Oh, goodie.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What I'm working on this week, Part Deux

Okay, then. The articles are finished and turned in. I've given my editor at Llewellyn my ideas for Book 4, and I'm waiting on her response to that. The next batch of query letters for Witch Ever Way You Can (novel #1) are out, and I am reviewing my final (well, final for this week) revisions.

But the big news is that I've started the next novel. I got the idea and wrote down three pages of notes on the 5th, then kicked it off with the first 11 pages (three short chapters) on the 7th. (Probably the most I've ever written in one day.)

I spent the 8th writing up a detailed outline (a first for me, since I don't usually use an outline for fiction...just sort of let it spill out any way it comes)--which rocked, by the way. The book is a humorous paranormal romance, and even the outline made people laugh out loud. That's got to be a good sign:)

Then I went to visit family for the weekend, so I only got some minor edits done on the first 11 pages (I tend to start the next day's writing by going over and editing the previous day's work), but managed another 6 pages tonight. Along with making 2 necklaces, since my jewelry making is still helping to support me, and I have a few shows coming up.

My goal is to whip this one out as fast as I can, so I'm aiming for an average of 4 pages a day. If I am trying to produce 280 pages (about), that means I could have the first draft finished in 70 days, or a little over 2 months. Pretty ambitious, considering I still have the regular job and the jewelry making (not to mention the garden, the yard and everything else to take care of...

But hey, you never know unless you try.

So I'm going for it, and I'll try to post regular updates about my progress. If anyone is curious about the book, I can give out a few details. Of course, I'll have to swear you to secrecy...

Happy writing!
Deborah

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What I'm working on this week

This month is apparently article frenzy time. I'd already committed to doing an article for two different Llewellyn annuals, only to find out that the editor for a third annual wanted TWO articles, and the editor for the Llewellyn Journal online magazine wants one as well. Is there such a thing as being TOO popular?

But I got article #1 done over the long weekend, and #2 done yesterday, so I'm in good shape.

Still, I'm not complaining. After all, it is good publicity for my books:)

Still trying to rewrite the query for my novel, but since I got another request for a partial this week, I am hesitant to tweek it too much. You know what they say: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

More later--happy writing!

Deborah

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