All posts by Marie Sexton

Coloradoan?

What do you call a Colorado resident?

Today, a friend who is reading Promises sent me this link to an article about the term Coloradoan.  Here in Ft. Collins, our local newspaper is called The Coloradoan, therefore many residents of this fair city (myself included) tend to use that term.  Oops.  Turns out that term is not linguistically correct.  We are Coloradans.

I just did a search, and the word ‘Coloradoan’ appears three times in Promises, and once in The Letter Z.  Three of those four times, it’s Jared speaking or narrating.  Jared went to CSU, so I can only assume he was corrupted into using the wrong term during his five years as a Ft. Collins resident.  As for that one time that Matt says it…

I got nothin’!

Revised cover, and other things…

Due to a random artistic fluke, the cover for A to Z had to be changed.  Dreamspinner Press sent me a second version yesterday, which (if I may be blunt) I truly hated.  And in my typical ‘don’t-think-before-you-speak’ manner, I promptly opened my e-mouth and inserted my e-foot, and I think I may have offended my publisher. AtoZ_pr3

Yep.  I’m good at that kind of thing.

Luckily for me, DSP is amazing and understanding, and they changed it again.  This morning they sent me this one, which I’m happy with.

In other news, the Vegas story has finally been given a title.  It is officially called The Letter Z.  And even more exciting – it’s finished!  I think I really adore this story.  For those who love Matt and Jared, you get more of them in The Letter Z.  I’m going to read back through it again today, and then I will probably send it to DSP.  Hopefully they want it.  If not…

Well, I’ll worry about that if/when it happens.

With The Letter Z out of the way, I have to decide what to do next.  I have Cockaigne, my sci-fi story, which I still hope to finish at some point.  I also wrote about 2/3 of a short and ridiculously campy Scooby Doo spoof featuring my four guys from Coda.  It’s very tongue-in-cheek and rather un-PC.  Maybe I’ll finish it and post it for download.  I have also started thinking more seriously about a story involving Cole.

Anybody want to weigh in on this?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Last but not least, my daughter has suddenly become a Star Wars fanatic.  The other day she was playing, and as she passed behind me I heard her say, “Apology accepted, Captain Neda.”  It was an absolutely perfect (albeit higher-pitched) imitation of Darth Vader.  I was so proud.  😉

A to Z, and the Vegas story (which really needs a name)

Today I received the first round of edits for A to Z.  Angelo’s unconventional diction didn’t cause any trouble, but his unconventional tense did.  I knew it might.  Now I just have to wait until I hear back from the editors again to see what happens with that.  Potentially, it means some serious re-writing.  And if that happens I’ll probably cry, simply because I’m irrational about some things.  What can I say?

I don’t have cover art for A to Z yet.  I can’t wait to see it.  As soon as I have it, I will post it here!

The first draft of the Vegas story is done, and is being read by the people who help me with these things.  Hopefully they’ll help me come up with a title too.  And that whole issue I just mentioned with Angelo’s unconventional tense?  Yeah, it happens in the Vegas story too.  It’s all Angelo’s fault!  I told him it was wrong, but he never listens to me.

UPDATE: No re-writing required.  Man, I really love DSP.

Slight change of plans

I know I said that I had two shorts which I would post for free download at some point, but I think I’m going to have to make a liar out of myself, specifically in regards to the short about Angelo. I think now I’m going to re-write that one to be entirely from Ang’s POV, and it will become the prologue for the Vegas story. On one hand, I didn’t want to do this, because the short takes place two and half months before the Vegas story. But on the other hand, I found that I kept wanting to refer back to it, and it didn’t seem fair to have the events from that short become a major issue unless I actually included it in the Vegas story (which is desperately in need of a real title). As it stands right now, the short (which also does not have a title, because I’m terrible at coming up with them) is half Zach’ POV, and half Angelo’s. But since I’m not using Zach’s POV for the Vegas story, I guess I’ll have to re-write it.

You didn’t really need to know all that, did you? The truth is, after knocking out 25,000 words in five days, I have a little bit of brain-lock today, and I’m doing whatever I can to waste time (like playing Scramble and updating my blog). The story will get finished, I promise. I am way too excited about it to NOT finish. But I think it’s safe to say I won’t be getting it done today.

For the record, I do still intend to post the short about Matt and Jared at some point. It takes place after the end of A to Z, so I’ll probably wait until that book is out. Unless I have another change of plans…

And one more thing…

Can’t tell you how excited I was to read on Sarah Monette’s blog that she finished the first draft of a new book, The Goblin Emperor. I am a huge fan of her Doctrine of Labyrinths series, and I worship daily at the alter of Mildmay and Felix. I can’t wait to see what she gives us next.

What happens in Vegas…

In the short time I’ve been writing, I’ve learned one thing: sometimes you get into your characters’ heads, sometimes they get into yours.

For Jared and Matt and Zach, I thought of finding their voices liking tuning in a radio station – sometimes it took a lot of fiddling with the knobs to get a clear a signal. Angelo was something else entirely. His voice took over half of my bandwidth. Once I found it (or maybe it found me), it was difficult to turn it off. There were even a couple of times when my husband asked me, “Is that you talking, or Angelo?”

And if you’re starting to think I sound unbalanced, all I can say is, I’ve thought the exact same thing.

When I finished A to Z, I had a little idea brewing in the back of my head about Matt, Jared, Zach and Angelo going on a road trip to Vegas. But, I already had my next project lined up: a little sci-fi (or is it fantasy?) project called Cockaigne. I had to make a real effort to turn Angelo off. I had to delete every song in my A to Z playlist from my iPod. It took me weeks to get him down to a manageable volume. He was always there in my head, rolling his eyes, giving me that look, spouting off at inopportune moments, voicing his (rather strong) opinion on just about everything. Once I finally got him under control, I was reluctant to let him speak again. So every once in a while I would ponder the Vegas story, but I would always tell myself that it had to wait until after Cockaigne was done.

So, you may ask, is Cockaigne finished? No. Not even close. I’ve been steadily plugging away at it, and I have made progress, but I’m definitely struggling. I spent last weekend debating whether or not to put it on hold and do something else for a while. I bandied the idea around with my husband, and with a friend. I decided to take a few days off and see what happened.

What happened was this:

Monday morning, my husband whisked me off on a surprise vacation to (you know what’s coming, right?) Vegas! That was all it took for me to do the unthinkable: I let Angelo start talking to me again. My husband and I spent three days walking around Vegas, with my four imaginary friends trailing along behind (good thing my husband finds my borderline psychosis endearing rather than annoying).

So here I am, home again. I’m sitting in front of my computer. And I’m trying to decide: Cockaigne, or Vegas? Where would you rather go?

A to Z update…

I just received an email from Dreamspinner Press stating that A to Z has entered the editing stage. This means the manuscript will go through two complete edits before being returned to me (then back to them, then back to me, and back to them one last time).

Looking back at Promises, I received the cover art two weeks after it entered the editing stage, and the book itself was released three weeks after that. Since that’s the only experience I have with publication, I will just hope the time frame is roughly the same this time. If that is the case, A to Z will be available in about six weeks! But again, that’s far from being official.

I will admit to being a little bit apprehensive about how the editors will handle Angelo’s voice. He’s not exactly a stickler for the standard rules of English diction.