Monday, July 19, 2021


This morning I made a list of seven things to do. I just finished the last one. This hasn't happened in five years, folks! It doesn't necessarily mean I'm getting better (I could wake up migrainey tomorrow and do none of the five things I've listed to do tomorrow) but that's a problem for tomorrow. Health crap sucks but I'm still here and sometimes I can still beat it!

Friday, July 16, 2021

As much as I read you'd think I could comp better, but I just don't think in that way. Catergories are hard for me anyway because I'm a splitter rather than a lumper, as they say in the sciences, although I also follow the Fortean principle that everything blends into everything else around the edges. Categories are imaginary; individuals are real. Female-centric historical is so overwhelmingly heteronormatively Romantic and I hate that; I don't want comps like that (and a lot of it annoys me because they didn't research to my standards; I'm such a history snob). My favorite queer books are contemporary - most YA is contemporary. (Is Len really YA, though? The question I only recently though to ask) Conventional wisdom at the moment seems to be that young people don't like historical except there's always exceptions, aren't there?

So yeah, I'm agonizing on this because I wasn't prepared and had to enter excuses on a query form. When in doubt, check books out. I probably need to go buy/check out a bunch of recent queer, historical, western-themed, female-centric books and read them critically to see if I can find the commonalities. A project which, though worthwhile, also sounds like a great way to procrastinate and also to frustrate myself. Life is rough.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Rethinking. Reinventing? Who knows?

Hey, look, I'm still alive. In the interest of getting back in the saddle, I spent today rereading the lesbian western. Damn. It's good. Hard to believe I haven't been able to get representation with it. But historical fiction can be a hard sell in the YA market, and I've only shopped it to YA agents, and, reading it over - maybe it isn't YA? Maybe I accidentally wrote a grownup book? It's a new angle to try, anyhow. If I want to sell in the market I should probably stop calling them grownup books, though...

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Reason Notwithstanding...

I'm still alive, though I'm sometimes dubious on the prospect. And I just sent out a query for Len, more or less on impulse. Wish me luck.

I have got to get out there and figure out what might serve for comps. Back when I was actively selling comps weren't really a thing, so it's a new trick for me; one I honestly can't take that seriously. I try, and then I get this vision of how the real estate appraisers I used to work for did comparable sales - adjust -5% because the Work is Historical and the Comp is Contemporary, adjust 15% because the Work depicts strong lesbian/horse bonds and Comp doesn't, etc. But does the camel adjust the value up or down? And pretty soon I've collapsed into a fit of giggles.

But hunting for comps ought to be fun, because it primarily involves rounding up and reading a bunch of books. You'd think I could do that much, health crap or no.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Haiku for March

Banksia, blooming;
Warblers courting in its leaves;
Yet I am so tired.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Idea Garage Sale: Rennies, the Soap Opera

I'm a long way from back, but I did have an obvious garage sale idea the other night, something I couldn't possibly write for myself.

It's Renfaire season in Texas, and our closest friends are essentially living out there for the duration. They only do this one Faire, but many of their friends-and-neighbors make all or most of their income travelling from Faire to Faire all over the country, interspersed with craft shows, flea markets, fan conventions, and similar local events. Known as "Rennies," they are a subculture with footholds in a number of adjacent ones, particular lifeways, roots in the counterculture that go back to the 60s, and a network of fluid connections and intersecting relationships that, while natural to them, look convoluted and confusing to more sedentary professions.

And, people being people, this subculture is full of Drama. Open relationships that turn out to be not as open as all that. Seasonal relationships that are stable as long as no one changes their yearly schedule. Business partnerships that are also romantic ones; ongoing rivalries; children and teens being children and teens, forcing free-spirited parents to be grownups; health crises; emotional crises; shoestring budgets; vicious infighting side-by-side with breathtaking generosity; polyamoury; neurodivergence; religions from paganism to Christian Fundamentalism that are both deeply felt and a kind of performance art; an atmosphere of infinite acceptance that can be savagely broken if certain lines are crossed - tell me all this wouldn't make a great Daytime Drama!

The beauty of this idea is that it would allow the writers and producers to do an end-run around a lot of the problems that a long-running dramatic show is generally faced with. Did a character not work out, or is a popular actor leaving? No need to force a dramatic write-out willy-nilly, just have him change his schedule so it no longer intersects with the main cast's, or quit to work a more conventional job. If the actor comes back, well, the new schedule or job didn't work out; or he's filling in for someone; or he returns with his new family - on the other side of the booth, a consumer rather than a producer of the Renfaire experience. The standard soap practice of ungainly and unrealistic serial marriages punctuated by affairs and divorces is unnecessary in a subculture in which polyamoury and seasonal relationships are so common; and the prospects for High Drama are better due to the intersection of so many different personalities and situations. Children who appear and disappear as required by the plot are far less jolting in a culture in which children of a particular age may live with grandparents during the school year, or live alternately with parents who no longer work the same shows.

My own biggest problem with soaps is that sooner or later people who should know better keep repeating the same mistakes and reliving the same stories, because the choices the writers have are so limited. The Rennie lifestyle renders this unnecessary - there is always somebody who can plausibly throw a wrench into a situation. Why does anyone still deal with the Scheming Matriarch? Why, because she runs the biggest Faire in the circuit! Why does anybody still fall for The Heartbreaker? Because the non-standard expectations of the culture result in just as much drama, but fewer broken hearts.

Anyway, got to get on with my Sunday schedule and can't delve into practical details. But it's a natural. I'm shocked no one's done this.