April 1st, 2008


Paper Cities

Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, a new anthology from the ever-stellar Senses Five Press and edited by Ekaterina Sedia, is now available.

The story I have in the anthology, "The Bumblety's Marble", is set in Tabat, where several of my other stories and the novel are set, and visits the underground city mentioned in The Dead Girl's Wedding March. I'm not sure where all the story came from, but the marble is based on a childhood object, discovered in the basement behind the furnace: a huge amber glass marble with a flaw at its heart. The market where the Bumblety's stall exists is the Thieves Market from South Bend, Indiana, where I spent a lot of Saturdays with my mother while growing up. 
All of the stories in the anthology deal with the idea of the city in a fantasy story, and all of them do so  in different, interesting ways.  I picked mine because I've been writing in the same city for a while, and I wanted to try something from scratch that expanded the city's geography a little. Hopefully what I tried to do emerges -- convey a sense of the complex landscape on which the bones of the story rest, because that is something the writers I admire often do, whether it's Lankhmar or  Dicken's London, Gormenghast or Colette's Paris.

The book features twenty-one original stories from Forrest Aguirre, Barth Anderson, Steve Berman, Darin Bradley, Stephanie Campisi, Hal Duncan, Mike Jasper, Vylar Kaftan, Jay Lake, Paul Meloy, Richard Parks, Ben Peek, me!, Jenn Reese, David Schwartz, Cat Sparks, Anna Tambour, Mark Teppo, Catherynne M. Valente, Greg van Eekhout, and Kaaron Warren.

Spunn of Sisteen Shimmers

3600 words today. This brings me up to 98578 words of this draft. I'm filling in the holes as I go, and I just finished fleshing out Chapter 18, about to move onto Chapter 19, which is mostly written, just needs some bridges and scene frames. Plus I did some other stuff, mostly e-mail-related.

I estimate the draft will be 110k words when I'm done, and then I'll start going back and doing some serious smoothing and filling in the small holes where i have things like (snappy one-liner to end here) and (remember to establish this earlier), which I think should take a few weeks. I have a bunch of weird little obsessive polishes and spins I want to put on some stuff, dunno how long that will take and if I will actually do ALL of them or not. I'm looking to get about a dozen first readers, since I figure some people will flake, and others will look at a variety of things. There will be a wave of second readers, focusing more on style stuff after that. I think. :p Have I nattered about all of this stuff before? If so, apologies, but this is the stuff that consumes all my days. It's so NICE to see the end of the project coming up at a reasonable clip and feeling happy with it.


I read a cover letter for a story and I want to write this back:

Dude, your letter made me want to NOT read the story. You've provided a synopsis of a story that sounds horribly cliche and painful to read.  And this is not the place to enthusiastically sell yourself via whatever they told you in Marketing 101. Just say "Here's a story, Cat" and leave it at that. That's all you really need to say.

  • Current Mood
    cranky cranky