smokingboot: (chameleon)
Well, there it is, my little book. Today I have gone over the proofs; only one serious amendment needed, lots of typos though. How I am supposed to add my changes when the thing's been sent to me as a pdf I've no clue. Guess I'll just email the list across.

It has been edited very gently indeed.

Many months have passed since I looked at the manuscript. Now I see with fresh eyes its weaknesses and flaws, glitches I cannot remove without major rewriting, and I wouldn't want to do that. It is what it is, and I am astonished by it.

What a pretty filigree it is, cold and delicate and intense.

I read on someone's lj recently a quote from Chesterton about how a bad book tells you about its author. By such criteria, The Spider's Bride must be a very good book,* because no climate could be further from me than this snowflake construct. This is not me, the lacemaker who put this together should be a part reptile girl with fragile features and luminous eyes. Her hair should be black, her body consumptively thin, and her room full of dolls and spiders with a decapitated My Little Pony in the corner. She shouldn't make it past her teens - the brat is clearly mad and will be dangerous by then. We'll know it's happening when her eyebrows meet in the middle and she renames herself after a poisonous plant.

Tomorrow I will send the proofs back with corrections. Today, I wonder who this woman is I see in the mirror, who wrote a strange little story with a lot of help from friends, seen and unseen. Cos for all my love of The Spider's Bride, I just don't recognise her.

*Or perhaps Chesterton was just talking more unmitigated rubbish than usual.


Sep. 29th, 2007 09:07 am
smokingboot: (pinklady)
After three weeks of waiting, the proofs for my novel have arrived; looks like publication will be a little late! It could be worse - it could have gone to press without my seeing it. My inner control freak would have had hysterics. As it is, I now have proofs, a bio, a dedication, a pic and potentially some appendices to send. Plus I have a show tonight. Jesus. So why am I sitting here when I have so much to do?

Cos I'm scared.

The proofs are in my inbox and I haven't even opened them.
smokingboot: (travelling wizard)
I've been here since before it rose.

Incredible pain in my shoulder and neck; I've had it for a couple of weeks now. Time for a new mattress perhaps.

Stretching my limbs and back feels incredibly good. I'm drenched in sweat right now, and it's not just the heat of a beautiful day; my right shoulder and neck are burning up. It's not illness, I don't think, it's something else.

The pain is unpleasant, but the underlying exhaustion is leaving me; I have the start of three books to work on. Don't know where to begin. Publishing party? A private party would be better, cos really I need to work. The final proofs will be arriving soon for correction...after that will be the time to concentrate on the new. There's nothing to go crazy about for one little book, however much I love it. Shelling out the publisher's cash on a black dress bash with cardboard cutouts of the cover is unnecessary. The appropriate applause is more work, more inspiration, more everything. Right now I'd rather carry on working and maybe have a celebratory bop with friends. Assuming I could actually move my head...

The drive to write rises just as I am preparing to go down south. Settling to write in London is not easy for me right now, because all I do is work and drift in and out of sleep between shows. Maybe I need to talk to my boss about taking a month away so I can dedicate four weeks to writing, just as I did before. Something in me tells me that November or January might be good for that. I love work in winter.

My temperature's come down again, for a while. Wish I understood what was up with me, can't sleep, can't think, writing nonsense...but the sun is still pouring in. Looks like it's going to be a lovely day.
smokingboot: (croc)
A challenge from [ profile] caddyman; Start with "The wind snatched and flicked flecks of foam from the incoming tide." Work in a reference to a trench coat, a trilby, four mackerel and a spider plant. Finish with "S/he took one last look around the room, gently closed the door and left" See if you can slot a couple of thousand words between those!

Letter to The Times, 18th March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

Letter to the Times 19th March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

GalvanoStenopad note: From: Mrs Alice Beaudemain, Royal Institute for Scientific and Technological Advancement, 181 Belgravia Square, 19th March, Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

Galvano-Stenopad note: From Professor Dante Van Teesen To Mrs Alice Beaudemain 19th March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

Transcript from Dr Jonathan Ranunculus' report to the Committee of Fellows, Royal Institute for Scientific and Technological Advancement, 21st March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

Letter to The Times, 21st March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

Galvanostenopad note; From Edumd Nileson to Denny Ainsley, 22nd March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

Galvanostenopad note: From Denny Ainsley to Edmund Nileson, 22nd March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

Galvanostenopad note: From Edmund Nileson to Denny Ainsley 23rd March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

Galvanostenopad note from Denny Ainsley to Edmund Nileson, 25th March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

Professor Rookswell Kettering,Royal Institute for Scientific and Technological Advancement, 181 Belgravia Square to Professor Dante Van Teesen, 17 The Lakeside, London, 28th March Eighteen hundred and eighty nine )

One day... )

Of course, despite being a lark, this ain't public domain; Copyright Debbie Gallagher 2007 etc,etc!
smokingboot: (Default)
Naughty [profile] larians let the cat out of the bag. My first novel, The Spider's Bride, is out in October. It can be pre-ordered here:
Or here:
Or here:

Or some other places I can't be bothered to check.

I can't pimp this up properly. Suppose you buy it and hate it? I guess I would just have to clutch my cheque and get over it, but a part of me would be gutted. So rather than sell, which I simply cannot do, especially to my friends, I want to talk about the book a bit. If you are interested in the things below, you may well like The Spider's Bride, because these are the main sources and inspirations for it:

Winter, frost and spiders' webs
The video for 'There There' from Radiohead's album 'Hail to the Thief'
Richard Dadd's life and paintings, in particular 'The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke' but I was also inspired by his Bacchanalian scene, Come Unto These Yellow Sands, Crazy Jane and Levant paintings.
The Tempest of course, now and always.
The work of Walter Potter and victorian anthropomorphic taxidermy in general
The Secret Commonwealth by Robert Kirk
Rackham, Fitzgerald et al, natch.

And somewhere at the back of all this, the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon traditions of fairies, Tam Lin and the long lost folk before him, who could be beautiful and generous, and very cruel if you crossed them; they hated cold iron, changed their shape as they pleased, drove mortals mad, kidnapped the special ones, and understood perfectly that time is just a dolls house.

So there you have it. It's not Ankh-Morpok, it's not Harry. But in total honesty, and this is the nearest I can come to pimping it, if it was not mine, I would still relish it. No reason for you to, though. I have more to say about this book but for now, that is quite enough of that.

The magnificent [profile] mamapusscat wants to create a publishing party for it. I don't know, a part of me wants to get on with the next and not look back at all. And anyway, I am confused as to what I want; an elegant little promo with copies for sale and the whole Bridget Jones little black dress and wine thing...or just a party for friends to celebrate my baby. If anything comes of it, you know you're invited!
smokingboot: (strawberries)
First thing I had better record is that I am extremely happy. In three days I have written more of the new thing than I managed of the old thing in 4 months. I am still slow, woefully slow; and it is a very frippery piece I write, without meaning, but it makes me laugh. Reading the Puppy's work made me realise how hidebound I have become about language, how terribly old school. That's cool, I love old school, but I could do with loosening up a bit and letting words and situations tumble out of my head in sheer pleasure. That's what's happening as I write the new. I hope to develop it and sell it but right now I need to relish the mad joyful little thing it is.

And speaking of mad joyful little things, the time has come to return to London for work for which I needed a) a tan and b) pretty nails.

See, coming back from Tuscany, with a little bit of brown help, I looked rocking on show and in real life; the response from all was uplifting, the effect on screen was pretty and energy free for me; no more hours spent putting muck on my face so that viewers could differentiate me from the living dead plus I got to wear my favourite short dresses without tights/hold ups. But the tan went, and yesterday I decided to try one of those spray tan places. And I have paid. Oh, how I have paid.

Contains far too much information. Those of delicate constitution beware )

And the nails? Well they at least manage to look cute, cut square across the top with a mosaic of rose and white shell. My fingers look like little men in sparkly pink fezzes.Right now, my life is so ridiculous I can't stop grinning. It's like having a permanent pimms in front of me, full of strawbs and apples and mint.

Here's to laughter:-D
smokingboot: (rosemaid)
Life is really sweet.

Have a fantastic weekend y'all:-D


Jun. 5th, 2007 12:49 pm
smokingboot: (dementolion)
So the good news is, I've found that story kick I needed. And the bad news is I am in an abattoir. It's insane!

More dead birds. First this morning, a terrible scream from the top of the stairs, I rush up and find little she-cat with a victim; birdy is clearly losing life, so much so, Surya lets me have it, she couldn't care less. Poor thing, its life trickling out of it, feeling it, thinking how horrible to die with some stinking thing holding you, so I left it on the windowsill for the last few seconds, dying in sunlight. Just now another squawk, this time more alive, more indignant, I rush downstairs to see both my monsters prowling with intent around the shoe rack. Sure enough, a young starling, furious but able to fly. I grabbed it and put it at the window where it has shot off, doubtless to die of shock in some hedge.

I can't write! It's carnage! I love my cats, get that they are murdering mofos and that's just the way they are, but I remember them as inadequate bug hunters, how did they become this expert in butchery? Did the birds just get stupid? Or is there one particularly evolution-unworthy starling mama who's chosen to nest in the catfood cupboard?

Add to this, the utterly beautiful 'Sweetest Thing' by Refugee Camp Allstars and Lauryn Hill, and I am nearly in tears.
smokingboot: (svengali)
Or, the producer previously known as Genius Love Puppy because he's a) a genius and b) a love puppy. You never know just how gifted he is until he shows you his work, cos he spends his entire life clowning around like a ninny, earning the studio's unanimous title of 'The Idiot.' Stark and simple though the accolade seems, one must consider the calibre of the competition around him. We are legend or deserve to be. To stand out among such a mob of promising morons is an achievement indeed.

The thing is, this guy totally brings out my Inner Fan Girl. Conversations tend to be embarrassing:
Lost in Translation )

No, I have no idea what that was about either. And they're all like that, though usually less linear. Nice guy. Films, clear and strong, conversations, uh, charming but incomprehensible.I was dreading reading his story. And then I did. It's in front of me now.

Well hmm. I can write off some of this as gifted undergrad stuff as he tears through the language and forces me to re-think the way he uses it. Is this poetry? is this prose? Too self aware maybe, until he lets himself go and gets inside the thing. OK, he's not worried about pace and he knows no-one talks like his dialogue, he gets that; I have been trying to pare excess adjectives out of my writing since I was 13, he just doesn't, he uses them to reshape everything. He pulls me into the undercurrent, the subtext and the feeling. Just as I reach for my red pen, I stay my hand and can't edit out what seem to be mistakes. Because they aren't. This isn't bad language, or overly self-conscious stylisation. It has evident derivations (Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy, Gerard Manley Hopkins and James Joyce spring to mind) but this is something else. He isn't working outside the box, he just isn't aware of the box. I think he's good. Extremely good.

Just as well my IFG didn't know this the other night, cos the sound of popping awe would have drowned out the pub chatter. He insisted on getting us all another drink, went over to the crowded bar and made bashful eyes at the barmaid, who smiled back and served him straight away. Even with her efforts we were a tiny bit late for the briefing (first time ever for me since I began working at the studio). He swept us through reception where a curmudgeonly gentleman signs us in. One look at mein beaming host, all facial granite dissolved and the lost minutes magically reappeared on the signing sheets. We went upstairs where the night's organiser was waiting for us, a stern frown replaced by grin at the sight of the Puppy, everyone's sweetheart, fortune's favoured son. No-one gets a reprimand, hugs go on forever.

Well here's the lowdown, homeboy; am a bit stunned by your talent, just like every other idiot in the 'hood. Tain't a fancying thing, just an admiration thing. You win, you win! Thankfully you're too smart to notice. Now get out of here and give my IFG a rest, OK?
smokingboot: (Default)
Thanks to people I know (and some I don't know) for your input on the start of my next novel. Some have left comments, some have sent private messages...I feel very encouraged. You are extremely kind. But once again I have been reminded of the commonsense behind discretion so with deference to those twin nemesii, jinx and anti-jinx, I am returning these scraps and jottings to the shadows for now

Here's to Easter, Eostre and the weekend ahead:-)
smokingboot: (default)
First of all, it is the beautiful wild child [profile] bytepilot's birthday. Happy Birthday, oh most exquisite of popes!

Second, the wind blew wild, and the rain has come, my pear tree is budding and the air is still electric with last night's magic!

Thirdly; the moon was red and black, colours always beautiful for me, and now more than ever. Want to see why?

Thank you [profile] jjarrold I spent ages trying to upload this and finally ganked it off your lj in despair!
smokingboot: (rocket)
I got that from a fortune cookie last night, during a fine evening of take-away Chinese and playing Serenity. It reminded me that I am not the only person in this corner of lj land who loves to write, nor the only person with a head full of stuff that wants to be expressed. It's all happening: Here's what my publisher has to say about my book on his lj [personal profile] oldcharliebrown, and here's the press release on my agent's website.

If you follow the latter link, you will learn about John Jarrold. He's a literary agent who specialises in fantasy and science fiction, is very respected in the industry and does not charge a reading fee. So if he feels right for you...

Here's to imagination ruling the world.

Thank you

Jan. 30th, 2007 11:42 pm
smokingboot: (Default)
I wanted to comment back to everybody for being so supportive, but I found myself getting weird and weepy whenever I started (I began by answering the lovely [profile] erestania and then found I couldn't go on without turning into Gwyneth Paltrow).

Happy though it has made me (seems to have taken me 24 hours to realise I am happy) this is really a very tiny step. I have a long way to go.

I hope to thank you more warmly in person when I see you. To those of you who have asked for details, you may regret the question; I can babble for England and may well do so until, out of genteelly concealed boredom, you force alcohol/your tongue/someone else's tongue/my own words down my throat in an attempt to shut me up.

Until we meet, little words will have to do. Please accept my heartfelt thanks.

smokingboot: (Default)
A publisher wants my book.
smokingboot: (snail)
So for further writing I have done a little research including a frustrating hunt for an old (not very good) piece I was sure I put up on lj ages ago, and now can't find; if only we had tags then. If only I could remember to use them now. Oh well.

The hunt led nowhere, and, as is the way of all research, when I start, doubtless it will be about something else entirely. The idea isn't usually with me at the beginning. I stare at a blank screen, and find the headspace needed; this should be optimum time for me, now my love is away for a week, and I have house and computer all to myself, only instead of flitting off to fantasy realms, my brain pulls off in a hundred directions, all of them here, in the real world, whatever that is. I'm caught up in earthdreams, sensual, resistant to word pins; I can't even make this feeling a story, it's too real and shadowy for that. It exists under fur bedspreads, by candlelight where the heat of a fire has thickened the air til you breathe it in like silk, or petals on your mouth.

Maybe it's because I am alone, my thoughts drift towards hands and eyes, lips and fingers, someone else's touch... or maybe I'm just bloody cold, and all my backbrain wants is some victim to mercilessly suck heat from. There may be a whole collection of them under the bed, dessicated ice-mummies who, over the years, surrendered their body-warmth at the touch of my frozen feet. I won't check, just in case they're annoyed.


smokingboot: (Default)

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