Hey everyone! Yet another quiet month from me, but not for no reason. I got my whole house ready for the new baby over the past few weeks, in time for her to make her grand arrival last week. Mommy and baby are back home, happy and healthy. And big brother loves his new sister. Having two kids has indeed been harder than one, and we’re only just getting started. My hubby’s been an amazing help so far. With the almost ridiculous amount of time I’m stuck in a chair nursing the babe each day, he’s been keeping the house clean and cooking meals, not to mention wrangling the toddler. Parenting is absolutely a team endeavor, and I think we make quite the team. I’ve even managed a few hours of sleep!
In writing news, I’ve advanced in my Book-In-A-Year project by officially starting the first draft. Early in the month I did some research into the characters’ college majors, which I found a lot more fascinating than I was expecting. (geopolitics, anyone?) I managed to hit 3400 words before I had the baby, getting through the first chapter and starting the second chapter, allowing me to play a bit in both characters’ POVs. To my surprise, one of the characters came on strong to me in present tense, which is something that has never happened to me before. I usually detest present tense in fiction writing, and have a hard time reading it, let alone writing it. But this character is saying otherwise, so I figured I’d humor them. It wouldn’t be too hard to change if I decide that’s not the best route to go.
I’m really happy with how the draft is going so far. Having the whole outline from the beginning has allowed me to plant the seeds of character arc and plot from the very introduction of the characters instead of having to shoehorn that stuff in later once I figure it out. I’m confident this will lead to faster, higher quality drafting than I have ever done before. Looking forward to the next month, I can’t guarantee I’ll get much done with the new baby. If I work on the book even just once or twice a week, I will be happy.
On the reading front, I recently finished Turnskin by Nicole Kimberling, and I want to take a moment to talk about how awesome it was. This book is an alternative history fantasy where humans and shifters coexist in a roughly 20’s era technology level. Not only was the world building amazing, but the characters were varied and unique. But my favorite part about this book was the “biology” of the shifters. Unlike werewolves that have a wolf form and a human form, these shifters are able to shift at will and with extreme precision to any human or shifter form. (the shifter form is humanoid and vaguely canine, btw.) Their shifting has realistic tolls on their bodies (making them hungry and tired) and takes a lot of practice and looking in the mirror if one wants a precise appearance. As far as I’m concerned, this is what an actual shapeshifter species should look like. I’ve never been fond of were-stories, and was so inspired and pleased by this unique take on the shifter theme. And I’m not biased at all in the fact that my fantasy with shape shifters are a lot more similar to Turnskin’s shifters than anything I’ve ever heard of in were-stories, nope, not biased at all =)
Okay all, I’ll catch you later. Here’s to attempting to get adequate sleep over the next, oh, decade.