Cover.

Feb. 24th, 2012 04:01 pm
la_marquise: (Living With Ghosts)
I have a cover! (I've known about this for a day or two, but it's now cleared to go public.) And I love it. The artist is the very talented Paul Young.



la_marquise: (Default)
Laundry done: tick.
Bathroom cleaned: tick.
Groceries bought: tick.
Rewrites continued: tick.
Cats fed and fussed and let in and out: tick.
Marquis re-acquired: not yet. He's due to arrive around midnight. He'll be exhausted. :-(

I'm off to eat and watch the beginning of the new series of The Killing.

Skirt of the day: grey with black hem.

Oooh, book!

Nov. 4th, 2011 06:26 pm
la_marquise: (Living With Ghosts)
Look what the marquis spotted:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grass-Kings-Concubine-Kari-Sperring/dp/0756407559/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320430987&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Grass-Kings-Concubine-Kari-Sperring/dp/0756407559/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320431077&sr=1-1

The Grass King's Concubine is now available for pre-order from Amazon.co.uk and .com. Publication day is 7th August 2012.

Woot!

Skirt of the day: black cord with purple trim.

News!

Jul. 15th, 2011 05:56 pm
la_marquise: (Living With Ghosts)
I am delighted to be able to announce that The Grass King's Concubine is officially sold to DAW and should be out in 2012/3. It's a two-book deal, for both Grass King and its sequel. Remember my elevator pitch? 'Orpheus and Eurydice and the French Revolution, with extra ferret women.' Grass King is the underworld. Book two -- no title as yet -- will be the Revolution. I don't know if the ferret women will play a big role in the second book yet, but the Cadre -- the immortal warriors -- definitely will.

A day early, but definitely a very very fine present.

Skirt of the day: blue flouncey.

It's done

Jun. 13th, 2011 04:45 pm
la_marquise: (Marquise)
That's it, corrections entered, page numbers nailed in with a big mallet (I swear, they fall out when they cross the Atlantic). The Grass King's Concubine is finished and ready to go off to DAW.
I get to celebrate by cleaning the kitchen.
Skirt of the day: denim

Metrics

Jun. 9th, 2011 07:03 pm
la_marquise: (Marquise)
So I've red-penned the first fifteen chapters of Grass King. I think it'll do. I hope so. I think I like it.
The first 50 pages in ms (single spaced) include an earth tremor, a magical bargain, a riot, a zonbie, and a dust-storm. Is that exciting enough, do you think?

Very ded now.

Skirt of the day: long blue cotton.
la_marquise: (Marquise)
The second draft of The Grass King's Concubine is finally done. I was beginning to think that this was the book that would never end, but I got there. Stuff has been added, stuff has been shuffled, stuff has been deleted and rewritten and reshaped.
I am ded.
Tomorrow I get to print it, and start with the red pen for typos and such. Then, hopefully, off to Nice Editor by early next week at the latest.

In other news, experts claim that cats never purr at other cats, except in terms of mother-kitten behaviour. All I can say is, Horus has just walked up the stairs that are over my head and burst out purring because he found his Ish at the top.

Skirt of the day: new peacock blue floral.
la_marquise: (Marquise)
It was an interesting weekend, this one. I'd hoped to go to Portland, but money did not permit. So instead the marquis and I went to Strawberry Fair here in Cambridge, and drank beer and looked at interesting things, and I came home with three new skirts. Two of them are blue... Then we watched Doctor Who and went flop and played with the cats.
Sunday there was a vague plan to write and clean and go to the pictures. I was just starting on the cleaning when the phone rang. It was Caro winolj: she and various others were out on a 20 mile bike ride, and [livejournal.com profile] laosin had had an accident. Could I come and pick her up, please? Of course, says I, and set out into Darkest Cambridgeshire.
There are a lot of long narrow dyke-edged roads. It took me half an hour, which was poor. But I got there to find poor K sitting on the verge in pain, with Caro and [livejournal.com profile] groliffe and [livejournal.com profile] anef looking after her. We put her bike into the back of the car and I drove her first back to her house to pick up a warm top and her bag, and then to A & E.
She's re-broken the collarbone she broke in another bicycle accident about 15 years ago. After she'd been x-rayed and seen the doctor and given an appointment for the fracture clinic, I brought her back here and we fed her white wine and Indian food. She tells me she's very sore today, but she's coping. Cambridge people might want to drop in or ring, though.

Today, I went to the gym (huzzah!), then revised three more chapters of Grass King. I'm now very close to the end -- the aim is to get it done by the end of Wednesday, then print it off, reread, do pagination and so forth, and get it off to Nice Editor before we set off for Stockholm and the Eurocon on the 16th June.

Skirt of the day: black pinstripe wrap.

Phew

May. 13th, 2011 04:13 pm
la_marquise: (Default)
Finally, I have got to the end of the tricky bit of the Grass King rewrites. There are still chapters to go, but the big reshuffle is done, and the rest should be much easier. Colour me relieved.
Skirt of the day: teal with cream piping.
la_marquise: (Default)
Laundry done. Gym gone to and new (very hard) programme completed with only one minor tweak. Various things posted. Various emails sent. Mooncat brushed. New scene for rewritten Grass King written.
Cats telling me they need feeding....

Collapses in heap.
Skirt of the day: denim

Metrics

Mar. 29th, 2011 05:08 pm
la_marquise: (Marquise)
1260 new words, plus some reworked old ones on what was chapter 15 of Grass King and is now ch. 16. The twins are baffled, Marcellan is exploring, and Liyan is about to cause all kinds of trouble.
I'm getting there, I think, and these changes are making the book work better.
The cats are bounding: I think it must be spring. And I must go and make another cake.

Skirt of the day: blue linen.

Metrics

Mar. 22nd, 2011 05:33 pm
la_marquise: (Marquise)
Another two chapters worked through, though I'm now on the brink of the nexgt chunk that will need major rewriting. It'll be fun when I get there...

I don't usually do the darlings, but this pleased me: "The man spoke and his words filled the room of the rice throne, wove about pillars, sank into tiles, slid fingers of doubt under the robes of the courtiers, ruffled veils, blew out through the window lattices."
That's Marcellan, Whose Fault It Is (sort of). He's 'quisitive.

Skirt of the day: new blue tiered cotton.
la_marquise: (Marquise)
Still trotting on with the revisions on Grass King. I'm a little in love with it again, a year or more after the final lines were written. We'll see how long that lasts: I've passed the big revision of the start but have yet to hit the next major rewrites, which begin from the chapter after the one I'm currently working through. But mostly I like to rewrite. It's soothing, I have a map, I can see the other shore.
One casualty of this current process is in the names, though. I'm pretty good, usually, about letting go of character names when I have to. Gracielis, Thiercelin, Yvelliane -- all are renamed from the early drafts. This time, it's the turn of my five cadre, the elemental warriors. Sujhien, Hsirei, Lienye, Qiaqia, Tsai, as currently written.
Hard to read, harder to pronounce, said Nice Editor, and she has a point. I've seen people struggle with them. I know how they're said, of course I do, but they aren't spelled to fit standard English pronunciation and that really is a bit much of me. (For anyone who wonders, it's Soo-gee-en, Shear-ay, Lee-en-ee, Chee-a Chee-a, Tsigh.) A couple of them are hard to respell by English rules, annoyingly, and so there are changes on hand. Sujien, Shiray, Chiachia, Sai. I can live with those. But my heart bleeds a little over the last one. There's no sensible way to spell Lienye in English, so he's Liyan (or possibly Lyan: I'm not sure). He doesn't mind, but I do, a little.
I'll get used to it. I always do.

Skirt of the day: still jeans.
(The photos will return when I have a chance to take some. It's been busy round here this week.)
la_marquise: (Living With Ghosts)
How, she asked parenthetically to writing, is it that I manage both to overwrite and to underwrite at the same time?
Frinstance: "Here, in their private place, he walked unveiled and unarmed, long plait swinging loose down his back, clad in light green tunic and trousers. Only the twisting line of braid at collar and cuffs marked his status. Corn ears and rice fronds, for bannerman. And, bordering them, the pale blue coil that marked air. Cadre, leader of two thousand, intimate of the Grass King, domained in air." Which is all very fancy, but makes no sense unless you know what I mean by banners and cadre and domainings. Which I haven't explained at this point. Bah, she muttered. Humbug, even. (That's Sujhien, btw, Mr Air-Powers-and-Angry.)

Skirt of the day: jeans, I was lazy this morning.
la_marquise: (Living With Ghosts)
And the rewrites on the first five chapters, as asked for by nice editor, are done. Colour me happy. I've had a lot of fun with this, in fact and am feeling a bit more love for Grass King again. Again, no word count today, but here's another snippet.

"She glanced across at him, said ‘I used to use a hatpin. But the lock on my old bedroom was a lot smaller than this one.’ In her hand was the small stiletto she kept in her bodice. She waved it at him. ‘I think this should do.’
‘But…’ Jehan said. And then ‘How?’ There was always something new with her. Something else to startle him.
She smiled, ignoring the but. ‘My uncle used to lock me in when I annoyed him. So I learnt how to let myself out. It was a lot safer than climbing down the ivy.’
‘Oh.’ His sisters would never have done such a thing. He thought they wouldn’t, anyway."


In other news, I have new kettle. And thus tea. And thus life is good.
And even better, the marquis comes home from Germany tonight: I shall be heading off to collect him in about an hour. And then tomorrow comes cleaning and looking at ch. 6 and packing and heading off to Herefordshire for my mother's birthday.
And then off to France on Sunday for a week's skiing. My life is full of go.

Skirt of the day: blue flouncey.
I'm thinking of starting a photographic record of the members of the skirt mountain. Possibly with cats. What do you guys think?
la_marquise: (Default)
2034 words. This blasted book is getting longer. It's already long enough. Sigh.

"People jostled at her from every side, workmen in leather aprons, women with baskets, filthy, ragged urchins. A reek of sour milk and rotting vegetation hung over everything. Aude choked behind her veil and put her head down, hurrying as best she could."

Skirt of the day: rust cotton. (Old and worn, sadly. But not, for once, blue.)

Right, time to feed cats and think about ironing.

More words

Jan. 17th, 2011 07:10 pm
la_marquise: (Default)
1478 words today. This rewrite is getting out of hand. Though I think it works better this way in terms of the politics.

"The foreman turned to gawp at him, a dirty scarf hanging from his hand. Jehan recognised its pattern right away, the grey and black of the eschapées, the troublemakers who stirred up workers with talk of higher wages and shorter hours and worse. No mill owner wanted anyone who sympathised with that movement working on their premises. Not, doubtless, that Mademoiselle Pelerin des Puitz had the least idea about that. They never did, the nobles in their fine houses. They knew nothing at all about the world that sustained them."


Skirt of the day: blue flouncey.
la_marquise: (Default)
1353 words today, which isn't bad.

"A wide room stretched out below them, lit by tall dirty windows in the side walls. Row upon row of dark iron machines marched down its length, each festooned with tight lines of thread. Women in greyish aprons leant over them, sleeves rolled up to the elbow, hair tucked up under rough caps and headscarves. Shuttles ploughed back and forth, foot pedals thumped and racketed on the hard earth floor. Children scuttled here and there, diving under looms to retrieve clumps of broken thread and floss. The air was thick with fragments of fibre."

A riot is threatening, and Jehan has a chance to be a hero. (Yes, this is still the same book.)

Skirt of the day: jeans.
la_marquise: (Default)
"It was fashionable to be shallow and silly and pointless. ‘I want to go home,’ Aude mourned to the governess. ‘I want to have more things to do.’ At home, there were tinctures and preserves to be made in the still-room, planting to discuss and oversee, accounts to be studied, stock to be examined and admired. Here in the Silver City, ladies did not even work their own seat-covers or hangings. Such work was contracted out to seamstresses hidden below the yellow fog in the Brass City."

Jehan is expecting trouble, Aude is disillusioned and bored. But it's her birthday.


Skirt of the day: still jeans, alas.


Oh but, car is home. I am broke but mobile.
la_marquise: (Default)
Rewrites still progressing, with reasonable fluency. I'm toying with cutting a minor character entirely, as they are a hangover from a much earlier version of the plot and actually add nothing. Aude is learning to be proper, and isn't appreciative: "Aude doubted that. Her new maid continued to pull her hair and lace her garments too tight, and never, ever smiled, not even when the most fashionable modiste in all the city came to measure Aude for her new wardrobe. There was a dancing master, too, and a lady of uncertain age and origin who gave instruction in the holding of fans and the placing of flowers."

While Sophy (the car) is at the car spa, I am back on my bicycle. There are not words for how much I dislike cycling. It really doesn't go well with skirts (or my winter coat). It really doesn't go well with the sort of stuff I carry about, either (there is no sensible way to transport boxes of index cards by bike, let me tell you). I know there are specialist garments and carriers. They aren't for me: I don't have that kind of life and I don't really want it. Walking, I love, but for longer distances it can be very time consuming. So today I cycled, and froze (because the coat is too long). A little known fact outside this city is the existence of the Cambridge Headwind. Whichever direction you are going here, you will be cycling into the wind, and the longer the road the more true this will be. Today I battled it both up and down Coldhams Lane, tomorrow I will dare Mill Road. Meanwhile the builders are back (finally, hurray) and the garden is somehow even muddier (as, therefore, are the cats' paws).

It is, I suspect, never wise to post about politics in other countries, but regarding the events in Arizona, I do have to ask: is there such a crime as hate speech, or behaviour liable to incite violence in the US? Because some of the rhetoric that is out there from the right wing would be actionable here, I think.
And secondly, another of my very dim questions. I note that when other people insert links into their ljs, they can do it not just as a website address but as a sentence which overlies the latter. How, please?

Skirt of the day: blue wedgewood over red crinkle.

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