[personal profile] rj_anderson
Oh dear, has it really been that long since I updated my journal? Well, at least the time away has been well spent, as I was able to turn in the revised draft of Swift to my UK editor on Friday. So that is Happy-Making Thing #1 at the moment for me.

Here's a little taste of what's to come, from the beginning of Chapter 2:

[Ivy] took a step backward, feeling the dirt crumble beneath her bare feet. All at once she was acutely aware of the hairs standing up on her forearms and the nape of her neck, the boom-boom-boom of her heartbeat, the stench of her own cold sweat. “How--“ Her voice wavered. “How do you know my name?”

The spriggan moved closer, teeth gleaming in the shadows of his hood. “That’s good,” he said. “I didn’t even have to tell you not to scream. I think we’re going to get along very well.”


Hm, maybe that particular excerpt is not very happy-making. But you get the idea. Action! Excitement! Danger! That sort of thing.

***

Thing #2 that fills me with delight at the moment is this video, from singer Kina Grannis:


In Your Arms - Kina Grannis (on YouTube)

As an animation geek, I found the "Making Of" video even more interesting, but it's a sweet song and a lovely bit of stop-motion work.

***

And Thing #3 I've been enjoying of late are the books of Zoë Marriott, a UK-based author I met on Twitter who said some lovely things about my books, which caused me to check out her blog, which led me to the page of her website describing her books, where I found out that said books involved non-white female MCs, interracial romances, disability and mental health issues, high fantasy worlds based on non-Western history and culture, and other things Relevant To My Interests, which led me to leap to Book Depository and order all her books immediately.

And I was not disappointed. I enjoyed Ms. Marriott's most recent book Shadows on the Moon, a loose retelling of Cinderella in a fantasy world based on historical Japan (with a few bits of China and references to a quasi-African country), quite a bit -- she handled some thorny issues in a very interesting way, and created compelling characters that I came to care about a great deal over the course of the book.

But even then I was unprepared for how much I absolutely loved Daughter of the Flames, her second book (yes, I am reading them in reverse order). Seriously, it's like she had a checklist of tropes and ideas that I either adore unconditionally (swords! acrobatics! fire! amazing descriptions of food!), or would like to see handled in a new and interesting way (religion! disability! culture clashes!), and was ticking them off in every chapter. I actually squeaked out loud when I got to page 174 in the UK edition because [classic romance trope redacted] is one of My Favourite Things (right along with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens) and she handled it so very well.

So now I just have The Swan Kingdom, Ms. Marriott's first novel, left to read, but part of me is almost afraid to start into it because once I've read it there will be no more left until her next book comes out...

Date: 2011-11-13 03:27 am (UTC)
ext_1358: (Default)
From: [identity profile] grav-ity.livejournal.com
So...I should put them on my list, is what you're saying. :)

Date: 2011-11-13 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
YES INDEED. LIKE YESTERDAY.

Date: 2011-11-13 01:59 pm (UTC)
ext_1358: (Default)
From: [identity profile] grav-ity.livejournal.com
The Waterloo library goes straight to the second one! *headdesk*

I'm getting it anyway.

Date: 2011-11-13 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
It doesn't matter, they're all standalones!

Date: 2011-11-13 04:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olmue.livejournal.com
YAY for turning in your draft!! I'm sure that is a huge load off your shoulders.

Date: 2011-11-13 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
It really, really is. I still have copyedits and other such of course, but to know that the majority of the book is settled is always a great relief.

Date: 2011-11-13 06:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bookaddict88.livejournal.com
1. Hooray for you!
2. Oh wow, that is just absolutely delightful.
3. Definitely going to have to check those books out!

Date: 2011-11-13 01:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Thank you, glad you thought so, and I am sure you won't regret it! :)

Date: 2011-11-13 06:53 am (UTC)
ext_6531: (Avatar: Naked Time!)
From: [identity profile] lizbee.livejournal.com
Those books sound AMAZING. They're going straight on my BookDepository wishlist.

Date: 2011-11-13 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
I really think you will like them a LOT. They have a lot of the same Good Stuff as AtLA (the heroine of Flames even has a burn scar across her face!), but handled in a wholly original way -- I wouldn't be surprised to hear that ZM hasn't seen AtLA at all.

Date: 2011-11-13 09:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] branquignole.livejournal.com
Oh happy day, Swift draft and sneak peek! You have no idea how excited I am for this book.

Zoë Marriott's books sound fantastic. I've seen her name about, but I've never really been compelled to go check out her books for no particular reason, but now that I'm reading your enthusiastic rec, I'm tempted to go and order them at once.

Date: 2011-11-13 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
(cough) Knowing your preferences, you should be particularly excited about the bit I quoted (cough)

I really do recommend the Marriott books -- knowing your tastes I don't think you can go wrong with them, honestly. Or at least I'd be terribly surprised if you didn't enjoy them as much or even more than I did.

Date: 2011-11-13 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] newport2newport.livejournal.com
Good to "see" you again--and YAY for all you've accomplished in the meantime!

Date: 2011-11-13 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Thank you! So glad to see your events for DEAR BULLY went well - how exciting and encouraging!

Date: 2011-11-13 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] commentcat.livejournal.com
Oh! I LOVE The Swan Kingdom! I read it a million years ago (or at least it feels that way) and it's one of my most favourite books on my shelf. The story was brilliant and the book is just so, so pretty.

I kept meaning to pick up her other books as they came out, but they were difficult to find in the stores in Montreal and of course I'd forget when I was shopping online. I'm bad at remembering books unless they are in my face. Perhaps I shall try to fix this when christmas gift cards start coming in. ;)

Date: 2011-11-13 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Ooh, I can't wait for you to read the next two books then! I am sure you will enjoy them.

Date: 2011-11-13 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brandy-painter.livejournal.com
I've been meaning to read Zoe Marriott's books for ages. I think all of them are somewhere on my TBR list. So I guess I should bump them up a bit given your endorsement.

Date: 2011-11-13 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Definitely. Here, I'll help: ***BUMP*** :)

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