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'Tis Nyte! by Elizabeth Watasin

Gothic Steampunk Gaslamp Fantasy. Bringing you uncanny heroines in shilling shockers and adventuress tales.

Currently reading

The Compleat Vampyre: The Vampyre Shaman, Werewolves, Witchery & the Dark Mythology of the Undead
Nigel Aldcroft Jackson
Victorian Science in Context
Bernard Lightman
Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on the Drug Experience
Cynthia Palmer, Michael Horowitz, Antonio Escohotado
In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of The Phantom of the Opera
Sharon E. Cathcart
King Khama, Emperor Joe, and the Great White Queen: Victorian Britain through African Eyes 1st Edition ( Paperback ) by Parsons, Neil pulished by University Of Chicago Press

#amwriting 20K+ on Dark Victorian: ICE DEMON. I think I'm down to the last 1/4 needing filling. *,.,* Been everywhere on the webs figuring out simple, elegant ways to have explosions. Sulphuric ether in mechanical refrigeration. An acetylene gas generator for roasting mutton. We rock the frozen Thames with one boom!


I'll feel sorry when this story wraps, despite that it's about ships (I get seasick, and ships are rather claustrophobic), freezing temps, rather grisly death, and more freezing temps. I've only seen real snow once or twice in my life--the sort that builds up and is everywhere? Ho, that's cold! Therefore I'll probably be the person who could survive it for perhaps 5 seconds. I gave London an ice age for this story, it was the only way to ice over the Thames.


I guess I really enjoy this story because it's very much a penny dread, with just that bit of (Stoker) Gothic and classic X-files with some Thing From Another World homage. I included nifty, beautiful things whilst our heroes, Artifice, Jim, and Delphia pursue why people are shattering into porcelain pieces. "Diamond dust", for example. As shown in the video above.


BEfore it's all done: more fighting and getting elements to tie together. This might be the last of the research because that placeholder in the story that I wrote simply as 'explosion' is now covered, yes? The end is already writ. Then, when I'm really done, it'll be off to the beta-reader, then back to me, then off to the editor, and then back to me . . .



In Scrivener; the research section for ICE DEMON
In Scrivener; the research section for ICE DEMON
in Scrivener; raw manuscript for ICE DEMON
in Scrivener; raw manuscript for ICE DEMON

#amwriting and thankfully, Scrivener makes it go faster. The key to it all is Organisation.


And a British language dictionary that *lets* me type in British English!! (Because I'm Californian American). ;)


Thanks to my spending most of 2014 trying to get my old comic book series, Charm School into digital and print ( A TASK THAT'S NOT DONE---WHYYYY ), I am still behind on writing the third Dark Victorian book, EVERLIFE. Elle Black's POISON GARDEN manuscript that I started last winter is still in holding pattern. Charm School's BODY CHASE: THE FALL OF FAIRER THAN was edited last spring by me editor and still needs me to fix it.


So what do I decide to do? Write a short story novelette called Dark Victorian: ICE DEMON for the occasion of holiday release. Because holiday stories are important!


Actually, I'm writing it because it's darn fun to have a story based on holiday occasions (despite my Gothic tendencies, I still miss marking a story to celebrate Samhain/All Hollow's/Halloween). And ICE DEMON is helping me cope psychologically with the 100+F heat we're dealing with in Los Angeles. Glacial Victorian London, take me away!


But back to Scrivener. I've mentioned before that Word is exasperating for me to work in, it's too linear. I nearly wanted to hang myself writing a 400+ page manuscript (which was BONES) in Word. Scrivener has the versatility I need to move around *quickly* in a manuscript, and to 'see' the entirety of it. The screenshot doesn't show how I would divide a manuscript into parts/Chapters. That's because I *thought* ICE DEMON was going to be a short. :-p But I can still hop around in the script, tackling all story points with my reference open until I've covered that information.


ICE DEMON has a huge amount of reference links and pics because it's all stuff I'm not familiar with: Victorian ships, sails, engine rooms, navigation rooms, seamen, polar exploration, the Pool of the London, quays, hoar frost, glaze ice, ice fog, hypothermia, ice rescue, DIY ice claws, the operation of (antique) blow lamps, all the elements belonging in a Frost Fair, and so on. Despite such dilettantism in all such aspects, I think I've been a week on this manuscript and may have hit the halfway point at (currently) 12,000 words +. :)


And perhaps that's another point I'd like to make with Scrivener. I know some writers are down on keeping word count---quality vs quantity, and all that. But I keep word count because for me, it is essential to take physical measure of my script. Every story is different, but there is a beginning, middle, and end, and when I've hit all those parts I need to know how much I'm putting in between. All those good, meaty bits, those reveals, understandings, sense of place, and moments of hilarity/horror/grief/ascension. At least I hope those get put in. All parts of a story have a sense of timing and of how long they may be. And they need their time to be cut out if they're not working out. By hopping around in the manuscript I can do that, and word count is the measure, I would argue, of maintaining a story of quality.


The above screenshot of ICE DEMON in progress is the *raw* manuscript, before my editor has even seen the thing. The bit where Jim refers to Aldosia Stropp's 'malady of the mouth to the brain' is just a Victorian way of saying 'Tourette's syndrome'. ;)


I dropped the freelance (non-profit) animation from my responsibilities. Since the beginning of summer I've also been spec writing. So I'm trying to write something of my own as quickly as possible before I'm asked (we would hope) to adapt someone else's property. Until then, I'm wintering in a glacial London with a Monster afoot. :)


all the best,


"What We All Wish For" by Jonathan Carroll


What We All Wish For


"Often when I go to this cafe in the late afternoon I see the couple sitting at the same window table."


And then it goes on from there.


Jonathan Carroll presently lives in Vienna, and I find relief and comfort in reading his daily writings (of his books, I've only read one so far). The couple he describes in this piece are enjoying a time with each other that I think may be rapidly passing for some of us in at least this part of the world: the act of reading together. And I don't mean on our phones and devices, or reading social media while in the presence of each other.


It's possible that there are pastimes that give us enrichment, reflection (depth), and memories. What he describes is an experience worth valuing and remembering. What we have when we look at our phones probably isn't.

Reblogged from Bookloving author and publisher:
"It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.

- Oscar Wilde

(Reblog) Wow.

Reblogged from Flicker Reads:
The Girl in the Road - Monica Byrne

Adding this to the want list now. What a great review!




Wow. I've been struggling to think of a way to describe this reading experience. Let's just begin by ripping a description right off of Monica Byrne's website:

In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys -- each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected.
When Meena finds snakebites on her chest, her worst fears are realized: someone is after her and she must flee India. As she plots her exit, she learns of The Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning the Arabian Sea that has become a refuge for itinerant vagabonds and loners on the run. This is her salvation. Slipping out in the cover of night, with a knapsack full of supplies including a pozit GPS system, a scroll reader, and a sealable waterproof pod, she sets off for Ethiopia, the place of her birth.

Meanwhile, Mariama, a young girl in Africa, is forced to flee her home. She joins up with a caravan of misfits heading across the Sahara. She is taken in by Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. They are trying to reach Addis Abba, Ethiopia, a metropolis swirling with radical politics and rich culture. But Mariama will find a city far different than she ever expected -- romantic, turbulent, and dangerous.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama's fates are linked in ways that are mysterious and shocking to the core.

You know, I read this, and I think, "Ya, that's the surface of it all." But it gives the impression that this novel is something like a normal, linear experience, and that is a mistake. I really don't know much about the author, Monica Byrne, and her prior writing experiences, but to me, this book feels like the artistic product of a poet and playwright. There is, on one hand, a dreamlike lyricism to the prose, that moves the reader along the journey in a way that feels like a Terry Gilliam movie. Both Gilliam and Monica Byrne understand how to use science fiction elements to heighten mystery and transcend reality. Honestly, for some reason as I read, I kept thinking of this film I saw a long time ago by David Cronenberg called Dead Ringers - the one with Jeremy Irons as the twins. A similar vibe. We know on some level throughout the telling of Mariama's and Meena's narratives, that something dark and mysterious and powerful link the lives and psyches of these two women. As they move forward, both literally and figuratively, on their journeys, Byrne even begins to grant them elements of the other's personality. I loved the snake motif running throughout the story, and found the role of sexuality in the lives of these characters really unconventional and interesting. 

Writing something like this cannot have been an easy experience. I just want to congratulate the author and tell her that the end result is really potent. It would be so fun to use this book in a college classroom - the discussions could last all semester. I just finished reading Divergent, which was so disappointing that I wound up posting a terribly snarky review right after. I told my daughter, who is 16, "Sometimes I read a book and it makes me worry about the teenage brain," to which she responded, "Sometimes I worry about the teenage brain, too!" Fortunately for me, I followed up that experience with this one. I now feel like going out and knocking on my neighbors' doors and telling them, "Have you read this book? So many good young writers! The future of literature is secure!" 

Do Mermaids Get Periods? or, Explaining The Menstrual Cycles of Various Mythological Creatures" from the Mary Sue

From the Mary Sue. :D When this first published, I could not stop laughing at the comments (at least from 9 days ago, they were very civil and funny as heck). They also proved fascinating, like the zombie/mummy discussion (aren't mummies self-aware individuals--more or less--requiring consent should you wish to fornicate with one?).


Honestly, figuring out the possible answers to unreal questions is what makes fantasy storytelling so much fun. :)


This quote from the comments wins it for me:


by brainmist:


"Much of the appeal of the mermaid fantasy disappears when Ariel leaves a pile of eggs, then waits patiently off to the side for her prince to sprinkle his milt on them."

:) (reblog) Comfort

Reblogged from RedTHaws Reads Randomly:

"Comfort, she thought, watching a worn-faced matchstick seller with her baby on the street.  It was unfortunate that only the rich could afford it. . . "

page from Boulet's "Darkness"
page from Boulet's "Darkness"

. . . by the ever fantastique cartoonist, Boulet, "Darkness" is the best analysis of the 'paranormal YA male' ever, plus his opposite, the perfect 'chick-lit' girl. :D Full comic is here: http://english.bouletcorp.com/2012/02/01/darkness/


( Originally in French, this is the English translated version! )

( Reblog from RedTHaws Reads Randomly ) Best reads of August 2014

Reblogged from RedTHaws Reads Randomly:

( Thank you, RedTHaws Reads Randomly ! ) ^,.,^





Most of my month was spent on the Zeva Project, so aside from books about dogs, I only read nine books this month.  These were my favorites:




Elizabeth Watasin's Risen from The Dark Victorian series.  Artifice is an executed criminal, resurrected by the Secret Commission in order for her to serve her country on The Secret Commission.  She's mentored by animated skull, Jim Dastard.  Art's memories have been wiped and she knows nothing of her old life.  But she was a Quaker; what was her crime?  We don't know and neither does she. The first book in the series, it lays the groundwork for whatever is coming next.




 (Not done with this, but I'm interrupted -- finish later. -- once again, I hit post before I was done)


Happy to see Twisted Book Junkie on Booklikes! :)

Please welcome my friend Becky of Twisted Book Junkie @Booklikes ! :) I'm very happy to see her here, sharing her reviews of horror, dystopia, and all around female kick-assery books! ^,.,^

“It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read.” —  Lemony Snicket
“It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read.” — Lemony Snicket
via iAuthor on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iauthor/photos/pb.296124743744878.-2207520000.1408043620./838295656194448/?type=1
via iAuthor on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iauthor/photos/pb.296124743744878.-2207520000.1408043620./838295656194448/?type=1

"Cut. Only by having no inessential words can every essential word be made to count" — Diana Athill




One of those big rules I keep in front of me. However, there's always a battle! Especially with this neo-Victorian nonsense I write. ;) Sometimes (ashamed to say), the non-cutter sneaks one in and wins.

Reblogged from Bookivorous:

This is just super lovely. Bravo.





Books and cake?


I'm in heaven.

from http://instagram.com/p/WxGDicmT9b/
from http://instagram.com/p/WxGDicmT9b/

This is pretty great. :D

(ReBlog): Rebecca T. Dickson: "Crap someone should have told you writers by now"

Reblogged from TezMillerOz:

Nuts, I think that's me and the world in a nutshell. :-p


• Writing helps us make sense of our world.

• If we didn’t do it, we’d probably completely lose it.






My favourite quote: "It’s better to lack confidence. Shitty writers always think they’re great." ;-)

(Reblogged): 100 Actual Titles of Real Eighteenth-Century Novels

Reblogged from Hunger For Knowledge:

Too many good ones, like this:


The Affecting History Of Two Young Gentlewomen, Who Were Ruined By Their Excessive Attachment To The Amusements Of The Town. To Which Are Added, Many Practical Notes, By Dr. Typo.





And I LOL'd. More tittles behind the link.


The Egg, Or The Memoirs Of Gregory Giddy, Esq: With The Lucubrations Of Messrs. Francis Flimsy, Frederick Florid, And Ben Bombast. To Which Are Added, The Private Opinions Of Patty Pout, Lucy Luscious, And Priscilla Positive. Also The Memoirs Of A Right Honourable Puppy. Conceived By A Celebrated Hen, And Laid Before The Public By A Famous Cock-Feeder.


Source: http://the-toast.net/2014/08/06/100-actual-titles-real-eighteenth-century-novels