Thursday, May 31, 2012

In Which the Author found some oddly appropriate advice

Presented without comment.

In Which the Author apologizes in advance for June

I'm looking at the number of updates in May and man I got wordy. June will be different. Other than a few update housekeeping things (launch of Sanctuary, Kickstarter, etc.) I don't see myself making so many posts next month. I could be wrong though!

But if I am less wordy on the blog than I have been, that's why. Nano is going to kick my butt but it's for a good cause: the end of Honor which I only began *mumbledemumble* years ago.

So, there you go, that's why, definitely see you on June 6.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In Which the Author reprints some lyrics which may be of interest to Someone

I wrote this in the Nanawrimo forums a few years ago but I think it's still hilarious, so... (and yeah I know it's June, not November, but I'm not switching the words around.)

Sing along if you know it! Or even if you don't!

Valjean: One day more
Another shot at Nano history,
This never ending road to victory
My plans are set, my goal I know,
There's fifty thousand words to go...

One day more...

Marius: I only registered today
I have no clue, it's all uncharted

Valjean: One day more

Marius and Cosette: Tomorrow seems a ways away
Across the date line, they have started

Eponine: One more day, I'm on my own
Marius and Cosette: (where's my desk thesaurus gone?)
Eponine: With my notebook and my laptop
Marius and Cosette: (it was here, I swear it was)
Eponine: And my "don't disturb me" sign
Marius and Cosette: (How'd it get under my chair?)
Eponine: Thirty days of this to go...

Enjolras: One more day before the storm
Marius: (Do I write what's in my head?)
Enjolras: On the laptop in the kitchen
Marius: (Do I throw my outline out?)
Enjolras: As the words begin to form
Marius: (Do I take a walk outside?)
Enjolras: Will you write your books with me?

The time is now! The day is here!

Valjean: One Day More

Javert: I will add these Nano buddies, I will follow what they do
I will try to match their output, I will stay here till it's through!

Thenardiers: Type the little keys till your fingers bleed
Nothing's half as easy if you don't proofread
Wasn't there a plot half an hour ago
Just throw in some zombies, make the bunnies grow

Enjolras: One day to a new beginning
Students: (Raise the freak flag banners high!)
Enjolras: Fifty thousand words to go
Students: (fifty thousand words to go!)
Enjolras: Every time we think to stop
Students: (every time we think to stop)
Enjolras: Chris's emails tell us no

Marius: My place is here, I write with you!

Valjean: One day more!

Marius and Cosette: We only registered today
Eponine: I'm trying to write, leave me alone
Marius and Cosette: December First seems worlds away
Enough delay, we'd best get started

Valjean: One day more!

Thenardiers: Don't know why we work, last year was more fun
c&ped the forums, then declared we'd won
claimed a billion words, none of them our own
they can't call us cheaters but our karma's pwned*

Valjean: One day more!

Javert: I have fifty writing dares now
And the forum servers crashed
Think I'll spend awhile on LJ
Till the site's back up at last

Valjean: Tomorrow we'll be on the way
Tomorrow is the judgement day

All: Tomorrow Nanowrimos all around the world will score:
One more word, one more day
One More Won!

*referred to the moron one year whose "novel" was to Ctrl C and V all the Nano forums into a word processor and submitted it to the counter.

In Which the Author has a sneak preview

Yep, it just posted: the first trailer for the musical movie of Les Mis. Reactions of the PauC cast are below...

Well, Javert is yelling at the screen "Get a shave you hippie!*"
while the rest of the cast is going "Not bad, not bad at all"
and René Devereaux is going, "Wait, you guys can sing?"

and Hugo is plugging his ears and going "lalalalalala I can't hear you" because he HATED music and refused to allow anyone to "make an opera of his book" during his lifetime.

*I'm pretty sure that's not the exact word he used but that's the gist of it

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In Which the Author makes a teensy change in scheduling

It's been pointed out to me that releasing the e-book versions of Sanctuary and Adrift simultaneously will a) not allow the last beta readers to get Adrift done before they go live, which means b) the book will go out without that extra editing and c) sending it, as it was pointed out, "dirty" will not be professional and relying on the ability to just "upload a cleaner version later" is lazy. Well, yeah, so am I, but anyway, she has a point. So.

Therefore, Sanctuary goes live on June 6, the day we celebrate the anniversary of when Javert goes in Seine. (wait for it...)

Adrift will go up by the first of July, or, if absolutely necessary, on Javert's birthday (July 20). I mean it's not like there isn't something else important to celebrate that day or anything, right?

Meanwhile Honor is still on track to be finished by the end of June (knock on every available wood product surface) but that's first draft. No way to know when it will be good enough to get bookified. But since the first half has been already extensively edited and filtered, hopefully it won't take as long as a whole book would.

Also, re: the Kickstarter campaign? Still working on the presentation. Believe me, when I get that done and running, you'll know.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

In Which the Author needs some help with a question UPDATED

Long time ago someone sent me this awesome piece of PauC fan art. My first fan art! And it's awesome. It's the pivotal moment of Resurrections, and the expressions on both of them are just flat out perfect.

However, I do not know who did this art, and it is not signed, and while I did at the time get permission to use it on the website before, I would like to be able to properly credit the artist.

So if you are, or know, the person who did this, please let me know. Thanks!

UPDATE: After searching through the entire of my old disks (of course it was on the last place I looked) I found the email from the artist regarding this artwork. Her name is Noel Dwyer. The picture was "inked in ballpoint pen and colored in photoshop." And also she graciously gives me license to "do whatever (I) want with it."

Noel, if you ever get back to me, I have some e-books and stuff for you. This picture has brought me eight years worth of squee. Seriously. Merci mille fois.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

In Which the Author celebrates a milestone

I have finished a whole section of Honor. Granted it was halfway done when it was stopped back in 2007-ish, but it's now done. At least the first draft of it. I'll be cleaning and polishing and tinkering with it between now and the release, obviously. But the point is, it's done. I figure I put in about 10,000 words in the last few days.

My next goal is to finish the other unfinished section that I skipped over. Once I get that done and it's all caught up then I can complete the other half of Honor.

I discovered a few days ago that in a fit of I don't know what, I was going to break Honor into two volumes, the other called "Allegiance" or some sort. That is no longer the case. There are six books. Six very large paving stones worth of books. So, yeah.

I'm not sure how this writing is going to mesh with and/or interfere with my Camp Nano plans. I have reserved June for book 5 (Inferno) and August for book 6 (Requiem) which doesn't leave much room to finish book 4, does it? But still, the more I write, the easier the next ones will be to add onto.

I've also been mulling over the old way of doing things, from the original site, where I would post each section as they were completed for free, and then when the whole book was done I'd take the sections offline and send them to press. This way of doing things is not going to be a good business model from here on out. Considering that the e-books are much less expensive than the print versions, I don't have enough reason to be posting the entire thing for free electronically. However, I will be putting up random chapters for a sample. And you can always get the first 10-15% of the books as a free sample anyway from the publisher. So, while the days of the free lunch are done, there's still an appetizer tray I'll be passing around.

Not to mention the fact that the books will contain extras. Adrift has the "alternate beginning" version special feature. Honor will have the extra Christmas short story (not the beginning bit already posted about Boxing Day; that's a whole 'nother Christmas bit), even though it really doesn't appear in canon and the timing makes it confusing as to where in the story it would go (although I will say, if someone can figure it out, I'll make it canon). And we'll see about the last two books.

So there we are. Back to writing. I'm home sick again so, may as well Write Moar.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In Which the Author would like to point out a few new features of the blog:

You may have noticed I've added a "donate" button to the site. If you would like to contribute to the fund to complete the other three covers in the series (while I'm struggling to complete the actual three books) anything would be greatly appreciated. Until I actually earn enough from the book sales for them to send me the money--I'm still under their limit; as soon as I sell enough e-books to get a check cut then I can throw that money back into covers and then anything above that comes to me to keep--I figured it never hurts to ask.

Also, Pont-au-Change has a twitter feed. Don't know what I'll put on it that won't be in here, but it's there and I have it. Props to me for digging out my old French dictionary and not using the internet to find out the French word for "tweets."

Okay, enough with the self promotion. Let's get back to writing!

In which the Author takes a moment to enjoy things, UPDATED

Quickie update part deux:

I got enough money together to get the next two covers done (well not really, but if I tighten the belt a notch or two more it shouldn't be a problem); I've seen the preliminaries and I love them! Of course they will be posted on the website when the books go live. For now, I'm just going oooooooooo.
UPDATE: Covers are done! She works so fast and they're so nice, when viewed together the books really do appear like the set piece I've always imagined them to be... Okay, enough drooling, carry on...
Books are totally on track to go live on Javert's suicide day (June 6, which long time readers will know is one of the Pont-au-Change quarter days, along with Javert's birthday on July 20, Valjean's birthday on December 14, and Marius and Cosette's wedding anniversary on February 19. Nearly all releases of books or other updates are generally scheduled to occur on one of these days, just saying.)

Also, for the first time in a few years, I've actually completed three whole chapters of Honor. Brand new chapters, not rewriting old ones or finishing ones left uncompleted. I did these in the past three days. Which doesn't sound like much by themselves, but they were some pretty important chapters, so, three cheers and a tiger for me! Three chapters down means three chapters closer to finishing the darn thing. I can't believe it's taking longer to write this one than it took me to write Adrift. Especially since the Ouroborous section of Adrift went through three. separate. drafts. Yikes.

So things are still looking up for everyone but the actual characters in the book, basically. After all it ain't called Les Hereuseables for a reason.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In which the Author throws a postile over the prison wall

Just a quick update:

both Sanctuary and Adrift are ready to go barring any last minute edits. Just waiting for covers to be made, which requires money for covers. I'm selling some stuff on Ebay so hopefully by next week I'll have enough to get those done. Then both books will be released simultaneously. I'm going to have them published on June 6, because der-hey why else.

I found a treasure trove of old Honor and Inferno notes I thought I'd lost. I'm sifting through them now. I'm not so far behind on those as I thought originally. Requiem is a little sketchy. I know the beginning and the middle and the end, but nothing concrete to mortar them together with. Hopefully the plot fairy will send a nice big anvil to drop on my head. I am still going all out to get this series done this year. For sure.

Since, y'know, apocalypse and all that. Right?

Friday, May 11, 2012

In which the Author proves she's two paving stones short of a barricade

(cross posted to the Livejournal)

That's right, I'm doing another Nano.  There's a couple of them this summer, Camp NaNo. Still 50k words, and twice: June and August.

I'm going to use this time to write the last two PauC books. Which you may or may not remember are titled Inferno and Requiem. (I thought about making it Revelations, but Requiem sounds, well, more final...)

Yeah, let's see how well this works (sarcasm)

Please feel free to send encouraging words. Because if this works, the entire series may be done before the apocalypse.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." --  Goethe

Saturday, May 5, 2012

In which the Author cites a connection between Cinco de Mayo to the current work

First let me quote from that eminently unimpeachable source, Wikipedia:
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a celebration held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla). The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is actually celebrated on September 16.
Okay so let me break it all down: During the time period that Pont-au-Change takes place, the same Napoléon III that Victor Hugo hated so much was also trying to expand colonial interests in the New World. Mexico was the last major French colony in the Western Hemisphere; they'd grabbed it from the Spanish and they meant to keep it, even installing their own Emperor, Maximillian. And the battle of Puebla was basically to Mexico what Waterloo was to the English. Any excuse to kick the crap out a Napoléon, huh? And despite the inclination to make a "French Military Victories" remark, at the time the French were rolling on 50 years of straight victories. After this, it kind of went south in a handbasket for them. Seven years later the Prussians were rolling down the Champs-Élysées for the first time, and they liked it so much they did it again seventy years after that, before the Maquis (with Allied backup) got them to knock it off.

And if you think that somehow this little factoid about the holiday we now more or less celebrate as Cinco de Drinko will not somehow make its way into the current book Honor, you are sadly mistaken. It's merely a footnote to the overall work (since the battle takes place six years after the episodes in Guernsey) but it's in there. By the end of the year when Honor is complete, you'll see it.

For me, though, it's kind of an in-joke, a self fulfilling Easter Egg: this is the very part where the Pont-au-Change universe collides with another of my book universes: the same one that 500 years later will be the Timeless universe, the one where this story and these people exist too. Kind of like this, really.

But that is another story, and shall be told at another time.