Stephanie Burgis
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everything's going Monday...
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Well, I finished the first rounds of rewrite on Queen of Thorns yesterday, started sending copies off to critiquers, and promptly sailed into familiar territory: burn-out. The characters suck! The plot is boring! The writing is humiliatingly bad! The book should be burned. Aaaaaaaahhhh!!!!

Luckily, this has happened a couple of times before (cough cough). It's a familiar sort of feeling. Horrible, but familiar. I ought to get my first critiques within the first couple of weeks. They'll tell me things that are wrong, but they'll probably also mention a couple of things that work okay. I'll take another look at the book. I'll fix some bits. I'll start to feel better. And then the long slog of real work will start....but what the heck. It really will turn out okay, and I'm sure I'll like the book again within a week or two. Really.

Meanwhile, my clever strategy for novel-planning seems to have backfired. I was planning to write another kids' book next, while doing the research for my next adult fantasy (set in Vienna in 1790-91). Unfortunately, it turns out that the kids' book (tentatively called Water Witch) is going to need research! A lot of it! Ack! Several of the kids in it are going to be Travellers. I know this at a level I can't explain or contradict. Unfortunately, I know very, very little else about the culture of the Travellers in England. This is a problem....

And then I went into the university library this morning to do serious thesis research work, completely unrelated either to Water Witch or the upcoming, untitled, Vienna 1790 novel. And guess what? I got completely sucked into the weird, dramatic diplomatic maneuverings of the Austrian envoy to the Ottoman Empire in the late 1760s/early 1770s. Secret meetings in the dead of night, betrayals, turnarounds, and finally the completely unprecedented announcement by the envoy (Baron Thugut) that he refused to carry out an order from Vienna because it was dishonorable and would be a betrayal of the Ottomans. (Needless to say, it happened anyway. Chancellor Kaunitz wrote back, reprimanded him for stepping above himself, explained that their sleazy turnaround was in the best interests of the Habsburgs, and said kindly that Thugut must simply calm down and not worry about honor.) By the end of the morning, I was on fire to write a fantasy novel around it. Only, that would require even more research....sigh.....

And today is only Monday.

But it's Nika's birthday! As soon as Patrick gets home, we're going to give her her present (a stuffed tug-o-war toy) and take her on her (gasp) second walk of the day, to celebrate. She should be a happy five-year-old. Pictures (of course) to follow!

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