Multiple Story-Telling Disorder

Ok, not really a disorder, but it does dis-order my life when I have several stories on the go. I have Portia 4 pulling me onto a train where she and her spy are escaping a crime scene, I have Pickles 3 (also known as ValHamster) trapped in an underground gulag with militant guinea pigs, and I have a short story about Sherlock and Watson that follows up on the original ACD Blue Carbuncle mystery.

If you visualize three chess games being played at the same time, I’m moving each  forward a little bit every day. When I’m stymied by one I move to the next one.

What do you guys do when you have several stories on the go?

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Another Story Book Launch

I know people have been having trouble getting their copies of Pickles vs the Zombies, but take heart! You can get a signed copy on THURSDAY OCT 3 in TORONTO!

I’ll be at ANOTHER STORY BOOKSHOP at 315 Roncesvalles Ave starting at 7PM.

BOOKS! SIGNING! PICKLE JUICE! BE THERE!

Researching and Disappointment

You know when you’re writing and you’re trying not to get distracted by details or even character names if you can’t come up with one, so you end up with a scene like this?

Diana sniffs the ground at the base of the tree, “Whoah, that’s weird… I’ve never smelled…”

She doesn’t get the chance to finish that sentence because that’s the moment I notice the eyes all around us and jump in front of her, teeth bared. It’s not wolves. They’re too low to the ground. And they’re not growling. They’re whistling.

Have you ever seen a human wig? Terrifying things. Bodiless beings of hair and net that seem to levitate on the mammal who wears them. Imagine a long-haired blonde wig stepping out of the shadow of the forest. But this wig has red eyes. And his equally hairy friends are carrying what looks like the lids of catfood tins, decorated with symbols I don’t recognize.

He casts his weird red eyes over us, from the dirtiest corgi you’ve ever seen, to a small hissing rabbit pointing a stick at them with visceral malice, and me, the obvious threat of the team.

“I am AWESOME WARRIOR NAME” the long-haired wig says, his voice eerily reminding me of Pallas, that deep baritone coming out of a body that really didn’t seem to be able to contain it, “you have trespassed into our territory, and must leave.”

Now, spoiler alert, I had envisioned these new hairy threats as chinchillas. I like the word, I like the idea of a squadron of chinchillas for Emmy to deal with. But until this week when I read the scene over again and started to do some research, I didn’t know that the mammal in my head didn’t match the mammal in real life.

Chinchillas are not known to be hairy animals that look like wigs. It turns out, I was thinking of Peruvian long-haired guinea pigs.

A squadron of guinea pigs just doesn’t have the same ring as a squadron of chinchillas. I mean, I think most normal humans think NEITHER of those sound especially terrifying but I really love the visual image of this squadron of wigs running into battle.

Should I just get over the coolness of the word ‘chinchilla’ and go with the guinea pigs?

 

EVENT: East Bound Conference June 7

I’m speaking at the East Bound Conference on June 7th, and for the first time for my Newfoundland fans,  I will be available for book signings!

I’m on-stage at 8:15 on Friday, June 7th as part of a panel discussion Breaking through the Noise: How to Increase the Canadian Presence for Books in a Digital World: Case studies in other media

But I will be at the conference as an attendee for the rest of the time, so ping me on Twitter if you’re going!