Song Styles

It’s that time of year.  You’re seeing it in stores, even though Halloween hasn’t even hit yet and the temperatures (at least around here) are still in the 70s.I’m talking about … the Christmas season.Deep, mournful sigh.I have a wedding I’m pla…

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Wednesday Wanderings

Yesterday, I opened a new document and jotted down this:

                I may not howl at the moon or be stopped in my tracks by a line of salt, but the liminal is an inescapable part of my life.  I’m a Sniffer, which means I can detect the earthy loam of a dryad or the formaldehyde tang of a vampire.  It also gives me an edge in my mundane job:  I can detect the “tar and roses” of Nebbiolo from across the room, and at closer ranges, separate the green apple and melon of Chardonnay versus Chenin Blanc – the wet wool of the latter is a dead giveaway.  My two worlds cross a lot, because Old World liminus love their Old World wine … and if you had a magical affliction, wouldn’t you drink?

                The Old World versus New World divide that runs through the wine realm – tradition versus innovation; subtlety versus the punch of fruit; pride of place versus showcasing fruit – has its parallels in the liminal world.  Vampires with pedigree back to the Roman era often look down their noses at technomages and even Mayan alux, who pre-date a lot of European fairies.  Most of the less traditional liminus don’t stand on or respect their ceremony, but sometimes they come into the shop like nouveau riche, insisting on a bottle of Chablis.  I always feel like standing them in front of a map and asking them to pinpoint the region.  (Closer to Champagne than its parent region of Burgundy, for the record.)


No, it’s not the beginning of a new novel – it’s much too “telly” for that, not to mention that nothing has actually happened in a little shy of 250 words.  Instead, it’s a loose narrative I’m using to help myself in my wine studies.  By putting down facts in my own words and building a story around it, I’m hoping to enhance my memory.  But the fact that I’m not trying to make something sale-worthy / viable means that I can jump around and focus on the topics that are giving me trouble.

All that said, there’s still some worldbuilding implicit in the paragraphs above, because of course.  I’m getting bored with everything in contemporary fantasy being “the supernatural,” so I’ve used the term liminal here – essentially, “on the threshold,” which is also used in magical context / spaces.  So a magical being is a “liminus,” and I spent a good twenty minutes flailing around the internet trying to determine if that was an appropriate cognate before I gave up and went with it.

This may end up sparking a short story or two, but that would be a bonus, not the goal.

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Song Styles

Driving in my car a few days ago, listening to my most recent word association CD – see a few posts down – it occurred to me that one of the songs was an excellent fit for one of my male characters, directed towards my female lead.  His perspectiv…

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Wednesday Wanderings

People recognize that red and blue make purple (unless they’re colorblind or just plain stubborn), but not everyone realizes that scents can combine to make other scents.  Here’s an easy example:  yesterday, I was making cinnamon french toast…

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Song Styles

I’m on my final editing pass for Unnatural Causes.  This is a targeted pass, to smooth out the additions from the previous pass and to cut unnecessary fat.  Since the novel is at 98,000 words and a bit of change, I’m in a different position t…

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Stratagem 27 2018-09-13 23:59:00

Dear Mother Nature,Please find enclosed 6000 tons of snow that was mistakenly dropped on Edmonton this morning. Look, there are rules. There’s supposed to be a natural order–i.e., things happen in an orderly fashion. First you have summer, which is wh…

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Wednesday Wanderings

Between the chaos of my daily life, I’ve been working on the worldbuilding for my next novel project.  It’s coming together somewhat differently from my usual process, and I hope the changes will pay off.I typically do a few short sections on glob…

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Anatomy of an Idea: Soul Medley

As I mentioned in my previous post, Soul Medley is now out in Andromeda Spaceways #72.  I discuss briefly the origins of the story, but here’s a more detailed account … spoiler free, if you haven’t read it yet, though I do encourage you to do so…

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A Day in the Life

A day in the life of a writer, a.k.a., me! Let me present my completely fool-proof plan to accomplish all of your writing goals. It has worked wonders for me. Yes, a big steaming pile of oddly shaped wonders. 1. Situate Work can’t get done if you aren’t in your work area. To start my […]

September – time to get serious

It’s been a busy month, the highlight of which was a trip to the Netherlands, where against my better instincts the little people persuaded me onto some gut wrenching rollercoasters. (I literally tensed to stop my kidneys swapping sides…) The canals in Amsterdam go on forever, the Dutch people are a lot taller than you’d […]

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