Archive for December 25th, 2015

News, projections and so forth

Goddess is four chapters away from first-pass edits. I expect that I will be done before the end of December 2015.┬áDepending on various schedules, I’m hoping for a release sometime around my birthday in February. It’s later than I would like as I’d been dreaming of being able to push Goddess out the door before the end of 2015. Oh well!

Of course, hopes will be hopes. Goddess started out at 28,677 words at the beginning of edits and it’s now sitting at 39,430. I’ve been saying “only four more chapters to go” for the last week and adding on words as fast as I can type ‘em all the while. As it is, at least two more chapters will be inserted into the next four and my readers might come back with requests for more clarification.

It’s the holiday season, so everyone’s short on time, but we’ll see.

There’s a deluge of X’mas themed stories around and I’m toying with the idea of writing something short and sweet for the season. Of course, it’d probably be winter solstice rather than X’mas as I really don’t think Estyria and Seth and Aedrian would be celebrating X’mas per se. Yule for Aedrian, perhaps, but mostly Winter Solstice and Lunar New Year for Estyria and Seth.

If I went with Ariagne and Aidoneus, it should also be Winter Solstice, but different. It’s interesting to think of how our traditions might change when we encounter alien civilizations and the brute force of Time. How would a dryad celebrate a winter holiday? Would they even, or is it hibernation time? Certainly no chopping down and decorating of trees, much less the burning of the Yule log. As for Aidoneus, what does he believe in? I’m not sure, actually, so teasing it out might be a fun exercise. And they are on an ice planet now, one with a sentience all its own and bound to it — so how does that affect things?

I’m uncertain about what’s next after Goddess. Common sense and that niggling little voice of “you started a series; finish it!” tell me it should be Phoenix book two, but we’ll see.

Depending on edits and interest, I might do an anthology for low-hanging fruit purposes before/during Phoenix 2.

Ariagne used to be an experiment where I interspersed the sci-fi re-telling of Persephone with a more traditional mythological-esque re-telling. I would write one chapter in myth form and then continue the story in the sci-fi setting and so forth. It was an interesting experiment, but it didn’t work as well as I wanted to, so there’s about four or five chapters of the myth re-telling sobbing in a corner somewhere. I’m thinking about collecting what I do have, sorting it out, and including it in the anthology along with some other shorts I have.

The only reservation I have is that some of the shorts, being older work, might not be able to be cleaned up to my current level of joy without essentially taking the premise and writing a whole new story. And if I’m going to write a whole new story out of an established idea at this point, it’s going to be Awoken. We’ll see.

Yeah, I’m saying that a lot, aren’t I? Unfortunately, what 2015 taught me is essentially that. We’ll see.

Another thing on the docket is to publish the short sexy pieces I wrote for writing calls. However, I won’t be publishing them under Ekaterine Xia. They’ll be under another pen name since I really don’t want to explain to my family anything involving the sexy I write. Bad enough Chosen involves two men… not that any of my family members who asked for copies have actually read it through and talked to me about what the fuck Katje! or anything, so hey. Reason #2 of why I’m in no hurry to translate my work into Chinese…

In short, tentative plans for 2016:

Goddess

Winter Solstice/Lunar New Year snippets

Two ~ three sexy shorts: Cavalier’s Queen, More than Human (cyborg), Hunted

Possible anthology: Mnemosyne and the corresponding male POV, Silenced, the gargoyle stories, Daughter of the Alpha and Beta, Ariagne myth version

Awoken

~*~*~

Stretch goals:

Iridescent

Seven Swans re-telling

Three Little Pigs re-telling

So that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll probably do up another post in the new year where I look at how much actual work is going to have to go into the stories and see if I still think this is doable.

 

 

 

 

Happy mandatory-family-friend-hanging-out time!

Be it Hanukkah or X’mas or Bodhi Day or The Day of the Return of the Wandering Goddess (awesome sounding, btw), or Kwanza or Omisoka or Saturnalia or the Winter Solstice — I wish everyone the best one.

That said. Good lords and ladies, I’m happy to be in Taiwan: the holiday mania hasn’t really gotten in full swing here yet and I’m grateful. Having spent the last decade or so in America, the difference is startling.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the holiday whirl as much as the next introvert does. Which is to say, with great joy and great trepidation and much reservation. I enjoyed going the whole hog in the past: hosting T-day dinner for fourteen, the staying up for X’mas eve, the drunken revelry, the gift-giving on X’mas morning, and X’mas morning brunch and so forth.

This year, however, I’m just grateful that it wasn’t expected or required or even necessarily appropriate. I’m sure there’s plenty of Taiwanese people and American ex-pats here who do celebrate the gamut of jollification starting from slightly before Halloween to as long as Valentine’s day or even Easter, but it’s not a thing. Thank the gods.

This year has been one of much change, forced self-reflection, and navel-gazing. It’s been a privilege to be able to retreat these past few months and watch the emotions precipitate out.

I’ve come to realize how much the endless social whirl can obscure the heart’s desire and I’ve badly needed the time to try and regain equilibrium and erect the necessary boundaries that I’ve apparently neglected for nearly three decades.

So I celebrated Winter Solstice this year by staying at home, listening to my body and its needs, reading, writing, and reveling in the freedom to do so. I missed having easy access to candles, incense, and the other tools of the trade, but in the end, it was just fine the way it settled out.

If I could give a gift, it would be that of the courage to choose whatever is best for you in the holiday season. It takes bravery to say no, especially at this time, and so I offer the whisper of “courage! take heart!” to all those who need it.┬áBe it choosing to go to a party despite a grouchy partner or refusing to be shamed into passing up that second slice of pie or saying no, thank you to an all-nighter or declining that fourth flute of champagne.

It’ll be a new year in less than a week and may we all move forward into it with grace and joy.