mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
Welp it's that time again folks.

If you'd like to read the final draft (as in, it's finished but a professional editor hasn't gone over it yet, because it doesn't have a publisher yet) of Candy Butchers, a sci-fi-ish novel by me which has much less gore and violence than Mixtape but that's not to say it doesn't still need trigger warnings for basically everything including gore and violence...

if you're interested in reading it, email and I'll throw it at your head.


I fulfilled twelve-year-old me's dream of writing sci-fi. I feel deeply pleased about this.
mary: ([dc] hrm hrm)
Okay I know that like rule one of Author Club is "don't bitch about negative reviews" (actually that's probably rule 2, I think rule 1 might be "don't bitch about rejection letters") but ugh, okay, it's been more than a week since I read this one review at goodreads and I'm still thinking about it every day and getting stressed about it. Full text behind the cut: Read more... )

It's not that it's a low-starred review, because I've had those before. It's that every criticism is something I'm terribly afraid of -- this reads like a checklist of 'every way in which I always assumed someone would expose me for the shitty hack I am'.

Tokenistic, racist against Indigenous Australians, writes like bad fanfiction writer, bland and non-unique character voices. It's everything I was terrified this book would turn out to be because I wasn't good enough to write it properly, and the last paragraph essentially says 'if someone else wrote it, it'd be good'.

I just feel really sick and sad and stressed out. How do I keep on writing when everything I was afraid might be true, is?

Ugh crying again what fun
mary: Edward biting Bella in her dream ([twilight] bella dreams)
Well, since my melodramatic meltdown of nonsense, I have tried to take it easy a bit. I got a week off work, which I'm currently halfway through, but I'm not getting nearly as much done around the house as I'd hoped to and so I'm just, blargh.

My rent has gone up by $87 a month, which is revolting. I'm glad to be able to lock in another year's lease, because the thought of moving is overwhelmingly dreadful, but I feel so... indulgent, I guess. Living in a proper apartment like a proper grown-up when I'm clearly just a flailing mess of disaster. I feel like I should stop pretending that I can have nice things.

Also, more than any of the sobbing or exhaustion or ridiculousness, the biggest indication that I'm running on backup power is the fact that I entirely forgot about an assignment that was due yesterday. I have to get it done today in order to scrape a pass grade. Ugh, way to take a week off being stressed out, Mary, GOOD JOB.

Edits on The Devil's Mixtape are coming along all right. It's funny having to find a line between making the Australian-isms decipherable while keeping the rhythms of authentic-sounding speech. Audrey's cover sketches are lovely and weird and cool.

Hopefully I'll get the rights to The Wolf House series back very soon -- it's in the process of being removed off Amazon and suchlike at the moment. The publisher of Devil's Mixtape wants to pick up the earlier series as well, which is a relief. I always joked when I was younger than my ambition as an author was to be in the $3 remainder bin at the newsagent, but the thought of being actually out of print so soon after publishing is actually pretty depressing and awful.

Next Novel That Has No Title Yet is plodding along very slowly. It's frustrating. I wish I had more energy and time. Also there's a collection of short stories I want to write for, but ugh. Time and energy. Bleh.

I've been watching a lot of Death Note, as the poor subscribers on my tumblr are painfully aware at this point. I really like it a whole lot. The world's greatest detective and the world's worst serial killer and their true and pure love, and cake and tennis and feelings and tiny angry proteges in leather pants. IT'S GREAT AND I LOVE IT A LOT. I have fic ideas but my knowledge of Japanese culture is rudimentary at best and I'd worry about creating a horrible mess.
mary: ([band] lltpb)
I got my welcome letter for the Pottermore beta, finally. I'm in Slytherin, my animal's a black cat, and my wand is a 12.5 inch unbending sycamore with a dragon heartstring, which essentially translates to "Mary is a drama queen, stubborn, and likes seeking out new experiences" in wand-language. It's a fair assessment.

A few weeks ago I switched to using a Lush solid shampoo and look how great my hair is now! That's from ddoing nothing but brushing the knots out while it was still wet and then letting it air-dry, and the photo doesn't even convey the extent of neato flippity-ness that exists in-person. TRULY THIS IS MIRACLE PRODUCT.

Man, look at those sexy dark circles under my eyes. Hawt. Speaking of (that was the best-worst segue I've done in a while), Death Note! It's neat! I love it! I know I am the very last person on earth to get on the Death Note train, but it is truly glorious. It's genuinely tragic one moment and then oh god are L and Light really engaging in a psychological tango by an intense and overthought game of tennis the next. I cannot properly cope with how clever-stupid the pair of them are. I laugh out loud while reading the manga in public. I can't help it. Plus Near, Mello, and Matt give me all of the Robin feelings, and Misa is somewhere between pre-Crisis Jay and Harley Quinn, honestly.

You can take the girl out of DC-reading, but you can't take the DC-reading out of the girl.

I may have a publisher for the novel I wrote between October and April, aka New Novel, aka The Devil's Mixtape. It's a wee indie one in the US which my friend Narrelle suggested. I have a lot of feelings about this! There have been some crying moments, and not the happy-crying sort (which I mostly only get from Rumer Godden books and sometimes fanfictions) -- going with a small publisher (which I haven't yet, officially, but which is almost certainly how things are going to work out) feels like I've failed to be a success at this whole thing, yet again. Which is stupid! And a part of me knows it's stupid!

But still there are tears and feeling bummed, because another part of me remains convinced that all the publishing industry people I know, be they writers or editors or agents or whatever, think that I'm rubbish and, if they feel any emotion about me beyond 'she's rubbish', feel pity at me for my rubbishness. And even though hard-copy book stores are rapidly approaching status as an endangered species in Australia at this point, I still hold fragile girlish hopes of someday seeing my books for sale in book stores. Oh well, Hares & Hyenas might take a couple, I guess we'll see.

Next Novel (which genuinely doesn't have a title yet, not a good one anyway -- I suspect I can't just call it "A Biopunk Story About Feelings") is dragging a bit simply because I've been busy doing not much of anything useful.
mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
I have finished part one of three of Next Novel, yaaaay! It is 28,527 words (after cutting 10,000 from the previous 25,000 count and trying again, ha) and written entirely in the tears of blood I shed while trying to beat it into submission. I am going to throw it at the usual people tomorrow morning and go PLEASE LIKE ME OH PLEASE.

Though I have broken up with DC Comics, I still adore Robins, and so commissioned this wonderful picture of Steph and Jason. Ugh I love them. They are going to punch so many crooks! And hit them with bricks and tire irons! Yaaay!

And oh yeah I guess here is a sequel to "Rescuers", that Captain America / X-Men First Class story that Audrey and I did. DOUBLE WOO!

By Audrey and Mary

When he wakes, it's dark and quiet and warm. He hasn't been this warm for a long time.

mary: Graffiti reading "your heart is a weapon the size of your fist. Keep fighting. Keep loving" ([misc] the heart is a weapon)
Semester has begun! We all had to introduce ourselves in the first class last night, and so many of the other students said their ambition for after the course was "to do PR for a nonprofit", which was sort of amusing to me because that's part of what my job is and I can't stop whining about how it's haaaaaaaaard and I'm tiiiiiiired, like the entitled little princess I am.

And, in that spirit, I should mention that the reason I started writing this entry was because I've had a couple of really really good days, writing-wise. I fucking love how the book is starting to shape up, it feels like it's something I actually want to read as well as a story I need to get out of my head.

I attribute this rush of inspiration and thinkiness to a phone conversation I had with my mother about narrative tropes and suchlike -- it's been a while since I thought about the bits and pieces which go into making a satisfying story, rather than just whining about how arcs are hard and my life is miserable and I'm going to die alone.

But nevertheless, whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine, books are really long and they are hard and what if I die before I finish it or what if I do finish it and it turns out shitty and nobody likes it and I die alone.

If I can pull it off the way I want to, it'll be a pretty neat story, I think. But there's still such a long way to go and my diamond shoes are too tight.
mary: ([band] lltpb)
I think Next Novel is hitting its stride a bit. Still wildly unsure if it's any good, but I'm trying to leave worries about that until later. It's science ficton, sort of. It owes a lot to the John Wyndham stories I grew up reading, at any rate.

I remember reading a Neil Gaiman quote once where he said that when he was a kid, he always expected to be a science fiction author when he grew up. I was the same -- when I was wee I was certain that anything I wrote as a grown-up would be sci-fi for sure. It feels nice to be actually fulfilling that certainty, if only in a kind-of-sort-of way.

I'm sorry this journal has been All Novels All The Time recently. My fannish output at the moment hovers around the level of "Mark is an arrogant little snot and I'm not sure if I love him despite of this or because of it! Eduardo is a tiny baby and makes my heart break oh god you tiny baby why are teenagers all so teenaged in everything they doooo". Which I don't mind doing on tumblr, because tumblr is all ridiculous all the time, but over here in the land of journals there are actual posts of content and stories and thoughts and stuff, and I don't think endless posts of BOYS WHY ARE YOU BOTH SO STUPID YOU STUPID BOYS would be especially appreciated.

As a final speaking-of-novels (sorry, sorry!) remark: if people who dig my stuff want to have a look at New Novel (the one I wrote right after finishing Wolf House), hit me up at The book's currently wandering the wild uncharted lands of Looking-For-A-Publisher, and thus is still in a rough-edged and scruffy sort of form, but I am feeling restless and silly and want to throw words at people’s heads. I’m not sure if they’re very good words or not, but you’d be getting them for free so you really can’t complain if they’re only serviceable really.
mary: (jason)
I can't remember if I linked to Coaster's group portrait of the Wolf House characters or not, but if I didn't, holy shit look at this motherfucker. IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY. SO HAPPY.

And then the other day Kivitasku drew these portraits and I went AH AH AAAAAAAH again. How are people so amazing? AMAZING.

Also there was this gorgeous review/pimp post written by a recent reader.

Basically everything on this tag and this one make me boggled and delighted and then boggled again. Also, they make me feel guilty that my own tumblr is full of stuff like "I LIKE EDUARDO'S BLUE STRIPEY TIES!" when there are fanlings following it and expecting like content or whatever.

Next Novel is stressing me the fuck out. I feel stalled and useless and all-over-the-place and exhausted. I'm scared that it'll take forever and I'll put care and work into it and then the end product will be absolute shit and I'll feel like a worthless fool for bothering. (Note that this is also exactly the reason I don't date, ha. Issues, what.)

Got a call a little while ago from Swinburne, where I'm due to go back to do the last subject for my PR/Business qualification next semester. Because I already have a higher degree, my fees for this one subject are charged at a higher rate, and so that's more than $600 for one night per week of classes for one subject so I can get a formalised qualification for something I've already done 11/12s of and am already doing professionally! Yay!

Not to mention that I have to drop my hours at work back a bit to fit classes in without collapsing into a heap of overexertedness, so that's less income to cover increased expenses. It sure is a good thing I like school, I'm just saying.

Money stress is also a completely crap added complication to put atop my horrible writing hand-wringing, by the way, because it makes it much harder to be indie and punk rock and ~*~in it for the art~*~ like I genuinely want to be, like I always want to be. I don't want to write safe books about safe things, I want to write things with serrated edges and strange shadows for the people who don't like safe books about safe things. I don't mean this in a pretentious way, I swear, even though I know it sounds pretty much like that. I want my writing to be the punk rock mix tape a friend gives you that's not much like the pop stars on the radio.

But then I hear about writer X selling Y number of copies of her latest novel or whatever and fuck, even if I'm not willing (and never will be willing) to write safe, straight, whitewashed, conservative stories, sometimes it's really hard not to wish I was a pop star, you know?

Ugh, I'm rambling. Hullo. My brain is broken and full of nonsense, but yesterday I had a long conversation with former-babysitting-charge-who-is-now-a-tween about "Monster High" and the relative merits of being a vampire versus other kinds of monsters, and that was pretty cool.
mary: Graffiti reading "your heart is a weapon the size of your fist. Keep fighting. Keep loving" ([misc] the heart is a weapon)
If I'm going to be guts-and-all honest about the times it's shitty to be a writer, I want to be equally truthful about those rare, beautiful, sublime moments where everything suddenly aligns like lenses in a telescope, and the whole vista of the story and the theme and the meaning is suddenly clear and exciting and waiting.

13187 words in. Sitting at Southern Cross train station, platform 14, at about 6:25 or so this evening. I understood abruptly not just what Next Novel was about, but why. How it fitted together.

Right now, it all feels worth it. It all feels glorious.


May. 24th, 2011 01:32 pm
mary: A picture of the Fifth Doctor and Adric from Doctor Who with 'you're not my read dad' written on it. (adric five)
So I applied for recognition of prior learning in order to complete my business/pr course without doing any more subjects. Of the four subjects left, I was qualified to skip three of them. So next semester I'll be doing night school again on Tuesdays to do the last one required.

On one hand, fuuuck, even more stuff on my plate. I'm butter scraped over too much bread already! (Okay, that was a mixed and yet oddly thematic metaphor.) But on the other, I'm so excited. I'll get to see my classmates from last year again and I'll be learning stuff and it's a routine that doesn't require the crushing self-motivation that writing stories and essays and novels does as a side gig.

Saying "I work and go to school" entails so much less than "I work and do a bit of freelance writing sometimes".

Except, oh shit, that means I really have to get cracking on getting Next Novel properly underway, or it will turn into the second coming of the endless incubation that book 5 of Wolf House underwent. And gosh, that was a disturbing and convoluted mixed metaphor there. Um. How about: Book 5 took a long, long time to write because I was also doing school through 2010, and I do not wish to go through the same difficulties for finishing Next Novel. How's that?


May. 23rd, 2011 10:29 am
mary: ([dc] hrm hrm)
I want to keep a record of where my brain is at lately. It's not particularly pretty, and is really fucking triggering. Don't click if these things are a problem, please -- my crap should not harm others also!

I don't want to make those who love or care about me worried, so also please don't read this if it's going to upset you on my behalf. I'm okay, I promise. I don't want you to be concerned that I'm in a bad place or anything. It's all oooooooookay.

blah blah blah Mary talks about writing and herself and body image and other stuff blah )

In happier news, I went out with a bunch of the usual suspects for Claire's birthday on Friday night, and it's amazing how good doing tequila shots and staying up until 2am having deep and meaningful discussions about the relative merits and disappointments of Never Let Me Go vs Black Swan feels. Friends! They're great. I love them.

Also I camwhored! Woo! Usually I wear more grown-up shoes than that to work, but the CEO was out of town on Friday and so I cheated a bit and wore boots.

OH AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, The Golden Rule. Justin Timberlake, Andy Samberg and Lady Gaga teach us all an important lesson about an important topic. I just. I cannot fucking deal with the beauty and magnificence. They are everything that is right and good in the world.

Also can we please talk about how Jason Todd is a strawberry blond who reads Pride and Prejudice? Comics you are my favourite and I love you ALWAYS.
mary: ([misc] being human)
Yesterday I was stuck in bed, down with the sickness, so I watched the rest of Being Human UK season 3. And then chattered at Gracie about why I was disappointed in it. Mary has dismay in blathery email form. )

So, yeah, that. Basically, what I loved about the show in season one -- and I will always adore season one -- was the "three lost monsters make a family together" aspect. That was beautiful and wonderful.

And I feel like that got thrown under the bus in favour of 'good people have hegemonic families, bad people are a threat to that' in this season. Blaaaaah.


I am at 8430 words on Next Novel, and it's still exciting and dear and fresh to me. And then in the midst of feeling all giddy I feel stupid and worthless, because. Well, because. Another email exchange with Gracie yesterday:

Mary: 6938 words blargh writing is stupid why do I do it :[
Gracie: Oh hush, you love it and you are awesome at it
Mary: No, I am addicted to it, and I do it passably because I'm well-practiced at it.

I just keep thinking about that Jesse Eisenberg quote where he's talking about how, when he was a kid, one of his therapists said to him "you deserve to be happy" and it was the best piece of advice he ever got. And I'm always like "... but I don't deserve to be happy, so that doesn't apply to me". Because I haven't done anything useful or helpful or brilliant or clever. I've read enough books that I can mimic a not-entirely-shitty format for conveying an idea through the written word, but anybody can learn to mimic, it's not exactly a remarkable talent. There is nothing about me that deserves anything. I'm not clever, I'm not funny, I'm not tidy, I can't cook, I'm not pretty, I'm not good with money. I'm useless and pathetic.


SPEAKING OF JESSE EISENBERG (well not really but BEAR WITH MY SEGUE HERE OKAY PEOPLE), I got my copy of THE MARK ZUCKERBERG COMIC in the mail and it is AMAAAAZING. AMAZING. Here are some pages and panels.


I've tried to restrain the number of pages posted, because I understand that most people don't share the sheer glee I feel over this awkward nonsense. But seriously, every page is horrible, horrible gold. MAGICAL GOLD.

Yep yep

May. 2nd, 2011 07:15 pm
mary: "I need a minute to let the classiness waft over me." ([misc] social network quote)
It's funny. In the past, I've always found it a little incomprehensible when people talk about how they jump straight into relationships after becoming newly single; they'll talk about how they don't know how to be alone or who they are without that context.

But today I realised that man, that is exactly me with writing. The last time I can remember being between writing projects was two weeks in 2008, between the end of writing Sharpest and when I started Origins and Overtures. Two weeks! Before that, I'm not even sure. Early 2007, I think.

And yes, this post was prompted by the fact that yesterday one -- count it, ONE -- day of soul-crushing existential pain brought on by being at home on my own and not Working On A Novel saw me give up on my plans to take a short rest between projects and instead start sketching out ideas for Next Novel.

I'm like a junkie. It's kind of sick.

So that this is not the most useless post in the history of the world ever, let's all take a moment to once again appreciate the absolute beauty that is the Mark Zuckerberg comic from Blue Water Comics. You better believe I hunted down a copy on ebay and that it's in the mail on the way to me right now.
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