Stephanie Burgis
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writing and music links
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Oof. I've rarely been quite that grateful for the end of a week. Nothing terrible happened this week, but I came home every day and just toppled over. I don't think there was a single day when I went to bed after 8:30...and I still felt exhausted every day. Getting over sickness isn't fun.

I felt pretty happy with my writing, though. I finished revising "Copper Fur..." on Wednesday and still really liked it. I spent another few days working on a long short story (working title: "The Taste of Sugar")...and then ended up coming to a crossroads on it. I was missing my novel, and more than that, I realized that--with my usual writing speed--it could literally be another two or three weeks before I finished the short story and started work on the novel again. And that--for all sorts of reasons, both emotional and practical--makes no sense. So, yesterday, with regret and relief mixed together, I decided to leave the new short story, at least for now, and go back to Congress of Shadows.

I wrote three-and-a-half pages yesterday and just over four pages today, finishing Chapter Fifteen, and I loved it. It--the story, the characters, the whole feel of it--makes me really, really happy. I guess I'm really a novelist at heart, and since this is my Fun Novel--historical Vienna, verbal sparring, dark alchemy, romance and revenge--I just feel like a duck who's found a perfect pond to paddle around in. Happy happy.

This afternoon I finished re-reading Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, for maybe the tenth time in my life. It's one of my deepest comfort books. When I was thirteen, I read it for the first time and it made me decide to write fantasy fiction. (Before then I'd been torn between straight historicals, gothic romances and, believe it or not, horror.) Needless to say, my first novel, at age fourteen, was a to War for the Oaks, even though I didn't realize it at the time. It took me a while to accept that, while I was, in fact, going to write fantasy, it would have to be a very different kind of fantasy than the kind that had first gotten me hooked on the genre. Even now, whenever I most need to feel better and relax (i.e., this week), re-reading that novel is one of the best things I can do.

So anyway, I finished re-reading it today and--as I often do nowadays, when I really love a novel--decided to google "Emma Bull" and find out if she had a website. Turns out, of course, that she & her husband Will Shetterley do...and that there's also a linked website, Steel Dragon, that sells CDs by her goth/folk duo, "Flash Girls", and her other band (which included Steven Brust and Adam Stemple), Cats Laughing. Better yet, they have free samples...and best of all, some of those songs are ones whose lyrics were included in War for the Oaks. So, if you were ever curious about how those songs were supposed to sound, check it out! Most fun. :)

And in my favorite music link ever: I just found the official Hedningarna home page, which includes a link to a "jukebox" where you can hear large chunks of many of their songs, from all their albums. My favorite writing music ever...

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