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News (mostly writing)

I’m seriously thinking that I need to create a newsletter, so that everyone who wants gets an update once a month. That’s how quickly things are happening.
The US (BVC) edition of The Time of the Ghosts will be out in March, all going well, and my short stories out soon after.

I”m working hard on the new novel. I’ve decided that both strands I shared are useful. Chronic illness is an iceberg. Not even the doctors know what most of them feel like. Having that intimate and probably uncomfortable first person view balanced by a third person view where one sees how little shows to the outside world will work, I think. The third person bit is where all the plot happens, and I’m still asking friends for road trips to various places to get more reference pictures.

Right now, I’m working on the intimate first person bit, because it reflects the hard work that’s going on the reduce how many symptoms I carry every day. I get to live the discomfort short term and to give my character all of it. She won’t have quite my symptoms, for her illness is different and harder to control, but I really want to get that emotional bond with her right for this part of her life. So many characters who are ‘othered’ in fiction are ‘othered’ by the writer not seeing them as part of their own lives. It’s so important I not do this with this cahracter.

She has a name, thanks to a kind patron and with that came came so much of her background. Some names are perfect from the moment they’re suggested and was delighted that this was one of them. I’ll announce it with the next Patreon newsletter.

I still need at least five more names (2 female, 3 male). Both female and at last one of the male characters will be major characters. The naming helps me with the income to write. It also does something that makes me realise how important my readers are to me: it gives readers a bond with the work. A path into it that’s not the regular path. I like this, a great deal. if it weren’t for my financial situation and my patrons’ generosity, I’d never have discovered it!

My research has ground to a near-halt. I wanted to write at least a chapter over summer, but, while Patreon has helped me put aside enough money to write the novel two days a week, the rest of the week still needed income. Thankfully, I have that income and am enjoying the work needed to get to it, but it pushes my research off the calendar. Not entirely. I’ve used my summer viewing and reading to work out more about how our world-building can create unintentional problems for minorities. The shock of that discovery (that friends of mine do it, with the best intentions!) has not quite worn off, but I’m well on the way to finding what I was missing in how we build worlds for our fiction and what that means to society as a whole. I’m at the stage where I can teach it but, alas, not many people are interested. They want classic world building courses. My compromise is to teach the classic world building, but to make sure that we talk about the ethics.

And that’s my news! (It’s both on Patreon and on my home page, so that few people miss out.) Actually, it’s not all my news. Three announcements (three!!) when the stars align. Watch all the spaces, or maybe subscribe to a newsletter if one magically appears in a week or so.

The other big news isn’t actually mine. It’s appearing here and it’s amazing, but it’s not mine. A group of writers is joining me in March for Women’s History Month. This year is extra special and there will be a bit of a lead-up with a couple of article that were due last year but that my impossible situation last year impeded. Watching spaces is a good thing. A friend once did an anthropological study where she watched a piece of ground for a few weeks to see what strange things appeared. Regard it like that. My spaces would make a fine anthropological study.

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