Stephanie Burgis
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rewrite madness
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I started on the 4th full draft of Masks and Shadows on Saturday. Oof! So far, I've made it through about the first 100 pages, and I've added about 2,000 new words, mostly fleshing out descriptions and general scene-setting. And, of course (as always!), I'm finding tiny inconsistencies like gnats--they're so small I never caught them before, but they're annoyingly difficult to fix! My brain hurts. But I think/hope/need-to-believe that the novel is, in fact, getting better.

It was a really good weekend. I slept a lot (OK, not exciting, but very important and much-appreciated!), we took lots of walks, and I read Robin McKinley's The Outlaws of Sherwood, which I'd somehow never read before, despite the fact that she was my favorite writer for most of my teenage years. It was a lovely comfort read. I borrowed it from a friend, but I'm now making plans to buy my own copy. (Put it on that long list of books I'm hoping to get during my American trip...)

Saturday, the weather was so gorgeous--blue skies, bright sunlight, sixty-eight degrees--that we went on a huge walk around Temple Newsam (a local historic house that Mary Queen of Scots' husband grew up in) in the morning, and then on another equally long walk in the afternoon, around our own neighborhood, just to soak in the warmth. Walking around without coats or sweaters--actually feeling fresh air on our arms (!!!!!)--felt so bizaare and wonderful that we couldn't make ourselves go back inside. Sadly, it's been gray-skied and much cooler ever since Sunday morning, but still, Saturday was a lovely gift.

And speaking of gifts...I love, love, love this week's Strange Horizons stories so much, it felt like opening up a birthday present to click on the new week's website today. Jenn Reese's "Tales of the Chinese Zodiac" series of flash fiction has been fantastic straight through, and Deborah Coates' Magic in a Certain Slant of Light was just about my perfect story--beautifully written, stylish, clever, and with a sneakily powerful set of emotions underneath that had me choked up at the ending of the story.

So go read Strange Horizons, everybody! Happy Monday!

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