September 23rd, 2010


Siren Beat news!

A big congratulations today to Tansy Roberts who has just been awarded an Australian Arts Council Grant to spend next year writing a Nancy Napolean novel. Here's a snippet from Tansy's blog including a blurb from her grant application:

The book in question is FURY, the first Nancy Napoleon novel, featuring the character I created for my various-award-nominated Twelfth Planet Press novelette “Siren Beat”. I’m bringing more seamonsters to Hobart, baby!

Here’s a sneak peek from my grant app:

Nancy Napoleon is unlike any heroine I have written before. Through her I intend to explore such themes as immortality, gender roles in contemporary fantasy, disability, and the grieving process. Nancy and her sister Sylvie have guarded the docks of Hobart for over a century. Theirs was a life of careless heroics, adventures, sex, music, and laughter. But three years ago, the kraken invaded the docks. In the battle, Sylvie was killed, and Nancy so badly injured that she still walks with a cane. She faces a future of immortality with a damaged, degenerating body, and without the one person she has ever really loved. The only one left who might understand some of what she is going through is Nick Cadmus, Sylvie’s kelpie lover, but he has fallen back into his old habits, drowning in addiction even as Nancy throws herself into her work – the same work she has always done. Protecting her city.

In “Siren Beat,” Sylvie attempted to find her way back into the mortal world, and Nancy was forced to stop her. She is responsible for her sister’s second death, and she feels it deeply.

In Fury, I intend to develop the characters from “Siren Beat” into a substantial novel. Still haunted by her sister, both literally and figuratively, Nancy tries to help Erin, a teenage girl who is desperate to stop herself transforming into a winged creature of legend… Nancy can’t afford to draw the attention of the Furies, vengeful champions of the dead, but once she realises that is exactly what Erin is turning into, she has no choice but to help her – and for that she will have to call in favours from the sea king himself, no matter how much it will cost to pay him back. She will also have to try to save Nick Cadmus before he destroys himself… because she can’t take another death on her conscience.

I'm so so so so very proud of Tansy - both as my friend and as a favourite writer of mine. I've loved Tansy's work for years now and when I read Siren Beat, I, like everyone else, wanted to read a full length Nancy Napolean novel. Personally, I'm hoping she can work it out with the Sexy Sea Pony (even if his hooves ARE freezing!) I got Siren Beat by way of another project elsewhere falling through, and even though it was shorter than the length I was looking for for the novella doubles series, I knew this story needed to see print.

I can't wait to see where Tansy takes this story next.


What else am I up to?

I feel like I've really lost my way with blogging. Most of the time these days, when I finally sit down to livejournal, it's so late at night and I'm so very tired that I just don't feel chatty enough to update. Once upon a time I could never imagine a day when I wouldn't been read up on my flist at any moment in time. Now I grab ten minutes while I'm waking up in the morning to quickly read up on everyone.

And in some ways I also feel like I have very little to say. I was joking earlier on today that my blog got boring when I got a nice boyfriend (he'd hate the use of the word "nice" but I mean "nice to me" boyfriend). Noone wants to read endless posts about watching sunsets and curling up and falling asleep on the couch with each other (we don't do either of those things but go with me on this). There's no point of conflict to make the story interesting! I was driving home though this evening from popping in to see Liz and Russell and I thought how different it was and felt compared to all those nights I drove home when I was in heartbreak hell. This time I wasn't going home to an empty house after being in their warm, bustling one. This time, I wouldn't have noone to share dessert with. How much difference the passing of time makes. How different I feel now. I no longer feel worthless, unloveable or undeserving of a happy ending. And frighteningly, something on TV after that made me realise it hasn't even been 3 years! Surely it feels so much longer. I feel so much further away from that situation and that version of me.

What else? The other thing is that I am working a lot. Somehow I've found a bit more of my way again back at the day job. I've had a very full and urgent week but I feel back into the swing of things. And TPP is full steam ahead as is Swancon 36/Natcon 50.

I'm supposed to be joining the Last Short Story crew on a reading marathon til October some time. But I actually have another book to finish - the first Novella Double for 2010 (of 2) called The Company Articles of Edward Teach/The Angaelian Apocalpse. The cover art is done thanks to the very talented Dion Hamill. Amanda has laid it out. I just have to FINISH it!

Here are Thoraiya Dyer and Matthew Chrulew posing as the novella double pair!

The trouble is, after two months of solid copy editing in July and August, my brain got broken. And all I can face is slushing. Which is just as well because I have a huge backlog of submissions to read and have been spending my time working my way through those.

Course today I fished something out of the pile that I've been looking for for a very long time. I just ... need to figure out how to fit it into my publishing schedule!


Buffy Season 5 and Angel Season 2

And then I finished The Gift two nights ago amidst sobs and heartbreak. Oh Buffy! Last night I watched the end of Angel with the adventure in Pylea a nice break in the darkness and surrender to the inevitable of Buffy only to be hit in the guts by the last scene of the troop heading back into the hotel and teary Willow sitting in the foyer waiting to give them the bad news.

That scene was, I believe, the prompt for me to write my first fan fiction vignette. I always felt cheated not seeing the next 5 minutes after Angel gets the news.

So. Now I feel like I need to gird my loins to progress into Season 6 of Buffy. In fact that could be the reason I needed a chick flick this evening and some chocolate. Season 5 is so despairing in some ways - in others its the inevitable. We know that Slayers die and that they die young and that Buffy has had a good go and lived longer than most. And she dies not in the heat of a battle where her enemy outwits her or is more powerful. No, Buffy gives her life to save the world. Because she is a hero and that's what heroes do. And what she was always going to do. And its terrible sad. And heroic. But even worse to see her friends, who are not heroes, and are flawed and have weaknesses, have to deal with the aftermath. And in some ways its been this great ride watching those who are not the Slayer give everything to help save the world even though that's not their job but because it's the right thing to do.

I dunno that I have much to say about Angel Season 2. Yay we got girly vampire action. I wasn't that interested in the Angel/Darla/Druscilla storyline. It gave us a chance to have Darla back and to understand her backstory, which is cool. But a lot of the episodes felt like filler and exposition for me. Granted they were a blessed relief to turn to whilst working through the hard, dark Buffy episodes. And they did well to build character relationships and development, which pay off in later seasons.

I think I'm going in for Season 6 of Buffy - if I put it off for a bit I suspect it will take me another batch of years to get through and in some ways this was the season I wanted to rewatch. Buffy is very interesting as a character in this season. I've been where she ends up (though not brought back from the dead, obviously). And her self destruction is something that her earlier self could almost not imagine - heroes don't come back from their self sacrifices and they don't have to keep going when they give their life for the greater good. And ... she really did seem to have given up, towards the end of Season 5. Her fight can't surely be endless and without final reward? And yet in the end ... in the end she is Buffy and figures out how to take her power back. Because she's Buffy. And maybe that's why I relate to her the most - I get her journey the most.