Fancast: Princess Novel

I find myself bored, and as it happens I do not have any great desire to clean my room. So I thought I would entertain myself by imagining what actors would play my characters if my books were turned into movies. Or say rather, actors who look like I imagine my characters to look.

(Of course, before the movie adaptation you have to write the damn thing, but..)

Up first? Princess. Continue reading

Showers are Good for the Writing Soul

Remember Miri and Oren? I wrote a story about them for the last Saucy Ink collection?

They paid a visit to me in the shower. I had to scribble it down quickly before I forgot it, although I have no idea where or when it happens or who Bakir is or when Miri had a daughter (…um…) or why an underworld crime boss wants to employ her or why Oren is cool with this or…yeah I’m pretty confused.

(Also hi Tami I stole your dragon’s name by accident because it was pretty and stuck in my head…sorry…let me know if you’d rather I didn’t).


“You’re wrong.”

Oren furrowed his brow. “But Bakir said–”

“Bakir is a gossip-mongering idiot.” Miri turned away from the window. “I don’t blame you for Sitri’s death. I blame myself.”

She paced across the floor.

“I was so obsessed with our work – so caught up in the adventure — that I neglected my child. I wasn’t there. I didn’t protect her.”

“Miri, there was no way you could have seen it coming.”

Miri whirled on him, her eyes wild and full of tears. “Yes there was!” she screamed. “I should have known!” She flew at him, punctuating each word with a strike. “I. Should. Have. Known!”

Oren said nothing.

Suddenly she stopped, and the anger was gone as suddenly as it had appeared.

“Tell Vashara I can’t help her. Find yourself another water-witch.”

Happy Holidays!

To everyone, celebrating or not, I hope you are having a wonderful week, and that you are happy and healthy and having fun.

I’m feeling reinvigorated and I’m raring to go on my novel. New goal: get to my novel’s Inciting Incident by the end of the year. That means I’ve got to write 3 scenes by January 1st! And off we go…

The Glorious Creature That Moved Me To Tears

This is a Coquerel’s sifaka (pronounced shi-fahk or shi-fah-ka depending on who you ask), once considered to be a subspecies of Verreaux’s sifaka but since elevated to its own species. Its scientific name is Propithecus coquereli.

Last semester, I took a class called Explorations in Primate Anatomy. The overarching assignment of the semester was to select a “chosen species” and investigate, in detail, its distribution/habitat/behavior, cranial morphology, dental morphology, and postcranial morphology.

I spent three months immersed in this animal. (Well, sometimes I was looking at P. verreaxi bones but that’s just because we didn’t have the Coquerel, and besides they are extremely closely related and primatologists are notorious splitters anyway…)

Two weeks ago I went to the Bronx Zoo with my mammalogy class. We happily went around looking at geladas and giraffes and sea lions and brown bears and polar bears and tigers and then we walked into the Madagascar building and this is the FIRST THING I SEE.

I teared up. Not joking.

I was SO EXCITED AND SO HAPPY to see this little guy and I can hardly tell you why – I just spent so long with his species that I feel this very close affinity and to see one in person – the real, living creature to which the skulls I spent so much time with belonged – was just incredibly moving. And then he looked right at me and I pretty much did cry, looking at his adorable little face.

It’s a good thing that I’m not likely to ever run into a living Neandertal. I think if I ever met a Neandertal in person I’d expire on the spot.

Going…Old School

I love my Kindle. I do. I can have hundreds of books on it and it’s still light and easy to carry. There are lots of great things about it.

I love my digital camera. I can fit 1000 photos on my memory card; I can catch moments that are gone in the blink of an eye. I can get instant feedback on whether the shot turned out right. If I mess up, I can delete the photo and try again.

But sometimes I like the feel of a paperback in my hand. Sometimes I like the feeling of stopping by the man who sells books on Broadway and finding a paperback I really wanted and buying it for $2. It’s like a surprise, a present. It’s something special.

And sometimes I like to shoot film. It’s softer, more intimate, more beautiful. It’s like opening presents when you send the film to be developed and get the scans back. If you’re lucky enough to have a darkroom, it’s peaceful when you develop the prints, watching the image bloom on the paper as you swirl it in the developer. I feel like I’m creating something, crafting something, as I work.

So yeah, technology is great! The world is moving at an astonishing pace, and ebooks and digital photos and whatever-they-invent-next-week are wonderful.

But sometimes I want something tangible. Sometimes I want something a little old school.

Sometimes I turn into a girl

I spent most of last week up at my grandparents’ house in Connecticut. There are lots of things I could say about that, but most of them would be uninteresting to the internet-at-large so I’ll refrain.

But I will share this: up there, I turn into a girl.

I have a six cousins, two of whom are girls. One of those girls is 9 or 10 now and lives in Boston. She’s a total sweetheart but it’s not really like hanging out with a friend, because she’s half my age. The other girl cousin is three years younger and I love her to death. She’s the one who turns me into a girl.

When I hang out with my school friends we mostly talk, or go see a movie, or go out to eat. If we go shopping it’s usually for books. That’s just the way we are.

When I hang out with my cousin we shop for clothes and makeup and take selfies (usually I hate doing that) and just generally act like a couple of teenagers.

It’s a little weird. But I like it.

In which I am ambitious and likely set myself up for failure

Things to be done today, sort of in order.

  • Finish reading Bill’s novel and give him my notes (Bill, you have the patience of a saint and I am horribly taking advantage).
  • Finish cleaning my room (Or at least take care of the stuff on the floor. Clearing off the bookshelf/dresser and going through the products in my bathroom can happen tomorrow)
  • Purchase a birthday present and a card for a ballet-mad little girl
  • Buy some work pants
  • Buy some fabric to make baby presents (I am planning to make a pillow shaped like a lamb and also a terrycloth ducky that can go in the bath)

I shall return later and let you know if I actually managed any of them.