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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Go To The Next Room

Random post, this one.

Okay, so you know I'm writing for George RR Martin's Wild Card series, right? A month or so ago, he responded to my three part Infamous Black Tongue story. Lots of edits, lots of things to change. My story has to jive with the work of like six other authors - and none of us have read the other author's work! Just George. Master of it all, he is. And good thing, too, because he's an awesome editor. Everything he asked for - either to fit with other stories, or just editorial in general - made sense to me. So I rewrote.

Thing is, as I approached revising the end of one of the climatic scenes, I realized I had to make a change that George hadn't mentioned. When IBT has beaten down a particular baddy, he punches him one last time. Seeing him go unconscious, he says, "Go the next room."

Go to the next room.

Made complete sense to me, but I doubt it would make sense to anybody else. Why'd I write that line? Well, let me take you back...

When I was a young, spritely, twenty something Outward Bound Instructor living and working in Baltimore I spent one summer doing a long course that was urban based. We worked in partnership with the Yale School of Forestry. Basically, I spent the summer doing urban forestry with at-risk kids from inner city Baltimore.

On one of those days, we worked at some sort of men's home/shelter. We were given a tour of a the facility by a charismatic, talkative resident of the place, a guy that had lived his own hard life to get to the relative stability the home offered him. He had a great cadence to his speech as he led us around, a combination of street-smart slang and no nonsense gruffness that he somehow delivered with spiritual equanimity.

When he was done talking about a room, he would always say the same thing. "Alright? Got it? Good. Go to the next room." It seemed a strange, loose, kinda funky mantra at the time. And over the years it's come to have spiritual significance for me. Like, he wasn't just saying move your body into the next room so we can carry on with this tour. It's become an invitation to a higher plane. "Go to the next room, where rewards - or karmic retribution - await you." I've never forgotten it, and every now and then that phrase pops into my head.

That, in some strange way, was what Infamous Black Tongue was laying down on the villain in question. But without context I understand that it would mean nothing to anybody but me. Oh, and you - now that you've read this far.

Still, though, it doesn't make that much sense in that moment, so I cut it. Perhaps one day I'll write a story in which I can build that line and let someone deliver it in context. Here's hoping, cause I need to get it out of my system...

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Daniel Abraham On Wild Cards

I just read a cool interview with Daniel Abraham over at Tor.com. He speaks about writing collaboratively, and discusses the Wild Card Series writing process in particular. Take a look if you're curious about how the whole "collaborative" novel thing works.

The post is HERE.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wild Cards Contest

Mr. Martin just emailed asking me to pass on word about a giveaway of Wild Cards books at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. So that's what I'm doing!

The last two books in the most recent series are up for grabs. Click over to HERE for a chance to get your hands on them.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

IBT Delivered

Just a small note as I exhale...

Today, I delivered my three part story about my character, Infamous Black Tongue, to George RR Martin and Melinda Snodgrass for the upcoming Wild Cards novel, Fort Freak. I'm kinda pleased with it: glad to be done and to deliver on exactly the assigned delivery date, and also feeling pretty good about what I came up with. It's still me, but it's me writing in a modern world for once, with a little bit of humor, quite a few scales and tales, some gang fights, jail time, some reptilian romance, and a flamethrower...

Pretty good fun. And now my slate is clear again. Back to Acacia 3!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Suicide Kings Cover

GRRM just sent me the final cover for the forthcoming Wild Cards book, Suicide Kings. Full on action. Cool...

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Suicide Kings Excerpt

Hey, so GRRM just put up a sample from the forthcoming Wild Cards novel. This one is called Suicide Kings, and it's out in December, I believe. It's not the one I'm involved in. (That's the next volume after this one.)

You can get a taste of it here, at George's site.

By the way, I'm writing you from a nearly empty house, with POD and car packed. We start our 3,000 mile drive tomorrow morning. I'd write about it and the emotions of leaving Fresno and heading back to our house in the woods of Western Massachusetts, but... I've got too much heavy lifting to do. Kinda like this fellow here with the gator...

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Paris and Jokertown

I'm in Paris. Yep. The miserable flight is over. I'm on the ground. I'm just catching a breather before heading to Epinal by train in about an hour. So, other than a warm welcome here by my editor, Carola Strang, I don't have too much to report. Well... I have already seen the Eiffel Tower, l'Arc de Triomphe, the Seine, the Louvre and a statue of George Washington. I have pictures to prove it, but they may all be blurry, taken as they were from a moving car. I'll take a look at them later.

I did want to mention some Stateside news. I'd just heard confirmation of this from GRRM a couple days ago, but he's gone public with it now on his Not A Blog - Back to Jokertown. He's announced the title and subject of the new Wild Cards book, and announced the main authors writing for it this time. Go take a look. (And, yes, I'm one of them!)

Okay, gotta catch a train...

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